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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Final Thoughts on My Great Grandma

As most of you know,
Last week Sunday my Great Grandma passed away.
From here to heaven.
If you missed that post,
you can read it here.
In her top dresser drawer, I found this picture. It's my husband and I and all the boys...S4 is no doubt kicking it up in my tummy. We're at my parents for my youngest brother's high school graduation.

Last week was...quite the week. It was filled with highs and lows and tears and laughter. Once the word was out that she had died, messages came flowing in on face book. I had people watching for and then clipping for me the obituary. My twitter friends were sending condolences, they were sending crock pot recipes for me, I received emails of "thinking of you" and "here's a recipe, hope it helps". And I cried happy tears when I arrived home from the funeral to find brownies and snicker doodles on my front porch - she knew my boys would be starving and I that hadn't baked. She knew I needed some chocolate.

All these things meant so very much to me. Totally blew me away and humbled me.

My Grandma lived a long long long life. But as I told one of my friends, I feel like her passing took my history with her.

I am thankful my aunts and mom did not have to sit over her, watching her try to catch her next breath, dying slowly...the way my wonderful and deeply missed father in law did.

After the full funeral in the church my great grandpa built, where we laughed and hugged and I seen cousins and relatives I haven't seen since....well, I can't remember, but hope to see more of....I drove back home to feed the boys and then I drove back to spend some time with my relatives.

It was eerie and seemed wrong to go through the house and "tag" things we may want to have. I am a great granddaughter. I feel I have very little claim on any sort of anything there. But I dug around in her old fake jewelry, where I found this picture. I took a scarf that is so gaudily bright of blue and red, it reminds me of her.

In the kitchen I mentioned I would take any pots or pans that no one else wanted. I am always in need of more pots to feed my crew. But in the drawer was her potato masher.

And I snagged it up and wouldn't let anyone take it.

I never seen her make potatoes, I didn't know this masher from any memory, but in my pie safe at home is dish she brought me forever ago. It's this funky blue color that I love. It has a glass lid and is one of the prettiest dishes I own. In it I make some of my most favorite dishes. And recently, it is mashed potatoes. For which I need a potato masher, and did not have one.

The dish, along with the masher, no doubt came from the farm house. The farmhouse she would talk to me about when she came by to visit me. She said my house reminded her of the old place. And she never liked that farmhouse.

Jake drove me by the farmhouse Thursday. It is falling apart and in terrible shape. It is sad.

And while she never liked the farmhouse, she had many happy pictures of the times there.

She always lived in houses on the same road as the farmhouse.

My mom, in going through pictures of my great grandma's, has told me a couple different times how much she didn't realize I was like her....in photos. As in, my great grandma took tons of pictures before taking pictures was something everyone did. I have worn my digital camera out. I also learned my great grandpa wrote stories, my Aunt B is on the look out for them.

But what did we all gather around?

Her recipes.

Her recipes and all her pictures.

Snippets of life. Frozen moments in time. Memories in a glance. Melt in your mouth memories of food.

The gift my great grandma gave me was in the visits she brought to me. Whatever possessed her to drive out and visit me I haven't a clue. I was a too busy mom, sleep deprived, laundry shoved in corners I hoped she wouldn't look and she would come over to see me, visiting and giving me chocolate.

And I grew to love her dearly for it.

There was one picture of one of my relatives. It's ancient old, my great great grandma perhaps? She is in a high neck corset type dress with her two daughters - one of which can not speak or hear. She is polished and refined looking. In another picture I found an old woman, thick tights falling on her legs, apron around her square body, hair in a bun and huge smile on her face - it was the same woman.

Life.

It happens too quickly.

But with it you can give gifts too precious to be seen. Only to be shared. To be felt.

She was a brash courageous woman. She would let Jake know if she thought he should look better when she seen him next. She told you what she felt. She exclaimed "Oh my lands!" loudly. She drove her car everywhere.....and it was always spotless. She told the pastor exactly how to do her funeral. I'm glad she did.

This is what she chose....
The song was Lead Me, Guide Me....and the one that I found is Elvis singing it. I find great humor in that!

And this was the scripture she had chosen....
Philipians 4:4-8
Always be full of joy in the Lord;
I say it again, rejoice!
Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate
in all you do. Remember that the Lord is coming soon.
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything;
telling God your needs and don't forget to thank him for his answers.
If you do this you will experience God's peace, which is far more
wonderful than human mind can understand.
His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and
at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.

And now, brothers, as I close this letter let me say this one more thing:
Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right.
Think about things that are pure and lovely,
and dwell on the fine,
good things in others.
Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about it.

There was a lot more to say, but as I was making potatoes with the potato masher yesterday, this is what I thought of sharing.

Thank you ever ever ever ever ever ever so much for everyone who sent me messages of love and prayer this last week. It meant more to me than you will all ever know.

3 comments:

Karen said...

What a beautiful tribute to your Great Grandma. I almost feel like I knew her after reading your words here. And, I just know that everytime you make mashed potatoes now you'll think of her. I think that was the perfect item of hers for you to keep.

Chelsea said...

This is beautiful, friend! Hugs to you. Use that potato masher often... she'll be smiling down on you every single time.

Becca @ Our Crazy Boys said...

I love that you are at peace, at least you seem to be. It's so sad when someone we love dies, but we always carry a little bit of that person, don't we? So keep snapping pictures :)