Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Birthday, Granny!

Granny with my own Cinco de Mayo baby -- June 2009

This post has been a long time coming...I've thought of it often, not sure where to start...only confident in the inadequacy of my words. You see...Granny, my maternal grandmother, passed away on February 20. She had been dealing with various health challenges for over a year, with them worsening this past January. The days that followed that Saturday were filled with love for her, gladness that she was reunited with my grandpa who had left this earth over 21 years ago, peace that she was meeting Jesus face-to-face and sadness over saying our good-byes. It was therapeutic to revisit memories with cousins as we sorted through Granny's various treasures that she had kept for so long. It was heartwarming to hear the pastor, who was to conduct the memorial service, suggest that he center his words on the Excellent described in Proverbs 31.

She has left such a mark on my life...several marks even. She grew up with sisters so she could always empathize when my sister and I were having...hmmm...what's the word I'm looking for?..."difficulties" with one another. She loved her husband and was a great example to me of what a loving wife should be. She raised six children and was always willing to share her own parenting experiences and laugh at the antics of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The pastor described her as a homemaker in the truest sense of the word...someone who MADE a home that we all looked forward to visiting. She loved her family.

My sister and I made the trip to visit with her a week before she passed. What a worthwhile journey! We were thrilled that she recognized us and was so willing to chat. She would stare into our eyes and hold hands as we enjoyed our time together. At one point in the visit, her living room was filling up with several family members. I stepped into her room where she was resting and commented on how noisy her family was. She responded that "it's the best kind of noise". She loved her family. And what a testament to her and my grandpa that there have never been any chasms in the relationships amongst her family.

When my mom asked if there was any specific belongings of my grandma that I would want. I instantly thought of two of her bowls. I can still picture them on the table...filled with gravy or fried potatoes or banana pudding. These bowls represented to me what she provided for her family...a home in which to be nourished literally and figuratively. I am also blessed to have in my possession a Bible...given to my grandparents in 1960 by my mom. What a treasure to remind me of the three people who have played such important roles in my own walk of faith!

Additionally, I took possession of many items that I had given to my grandparents over the years. You will see in the picture the potholders that I made on my little plastic loom...doilies bearing my embroidery and my mom's crocheting handiwork...a painting that I believe I did during girl scouts. I have letters that I sent, while in elementary school, to my grandparents and an anxious letter I wrote to them the week before I left for college. I am so thankful that I gave them and so thankful that she saved them.

As I wrap this up, I must confess that I do not believe that this begins to be worthy of her and all that she has meant to me. As soon as it is published, I will have regrets of other memories and thoughts not shared. Not a day will go by that I won't be reminded of her. But I have that she is at peace and in that I will see her again in heaven someday. And I have responsibility...the responsibility of being worthy of her and her legacy...the responsibility of sharing her character with my own daughters as they grow up to be women of faith, wives and mothers. Granny was certainly a cathedral builder in my life and many others. And her influence will be felt for years to come.

Happy Birthday, Granny...I love you...I miss you.

You can read more about my grandma here. This is the post in which I introduced her to you last summer.

You can also read my sister's post about my grandma here. Yes...I was (and still am) quite intimidated that she wrote such a beautiful the airport...on the way home back in February.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Kid Art

The four-year-old painted this picture recently during a homeschoolers' class on the Impressionists taught at our local art museum. She created this using watercolors and "stamping" the paint using pieces of styrofoam. She has titled it "Spring"...quite appropriate with the and grass...and the butterflies.