Monday, July 20, 2009

Memiors of My Grandma

My blog has been very ignored in recent weeks as many events have occurred in my life, the most important of which is the passing of my dear grandma Loula.

There are so many things that I remember her for that this blog could not hold them all.  I think I inherited my love for animal (especially cats) from her.  The first photgraph she has of herself was her sitting on the old porch holding a cat.  More than 75 years later, grandpa took this picture of her holding Snowball.  On the back of this photo he wrote, "The two dear ones that live with me".

Grandma was a wonderful help meet to grandpa for all of their 72 years of marriage.  She stood by him in the ministry for more than half of that time.  They were truly a tag team in so many ways.  Grandpa also spent time as a carpenter.  He loved shaping wood and made many wonderful and practical things for grandma.   Grandma was a wonderful crafter also.  She specialized in cake decorating, making many birthday cakes for me as a child and the most beautiful wedding cakes you can image.  She also became known in our family as a snowflake maker.  Annually, she made each child, grandchild, and great-grandchild a small crochet snowflake to hang on their Christmas tree.  As you can imagine, that became quite a chore with 5 children married with spouses, 17 granchildren and many, many great grandchildren.  I am so thankful as they have always made our Christmases so special.  Even if we weren't there to recieve them in person, she made sure to get them to us through the mail.  It has always been a highlight of our holiday season.  

While grandma was always very submissive to grandpa, I especially like this picture.  There is a story behind it.  They were at a bridal party and were asked to play The Newlywed Game as they were the couple present that had been married the longest, about 68 years at this time.  The question to the husbands was what cartoon character would your wife most likely describe you as:  Superman, .... or Daffy Duck.  Well you see the answer.  Grandpa thought he was Superman. I love the look on grandma's face.  At that same party, grandpa reminded me that she knew to the penny how much change he had in his pocket.  Amazing how well they knew one another.

Grandma and Grandpa were avid gardeners.  They planted this strawberry barrell and kept it going for several years.  I remember it fondly, exactly where it stood and also picking strawberries off and eating them without grandpa knowing.  Grandma took care during my early tender years before the age of five.  I spent a lot of fun times in their back yard.

I will miss my grandma very much.  She has made such a defining impact in my life.  In  many ways, she has shaped me more than any one person, including my parents.  As I go through her personal belongings, I am amazed at the ways we are alike that I never knew.  I am also amazed at the quality of character that she and grandpa had.

I have been doing a lot of journaling since she became ill, knowing that soon, she was going to go to be with God.  There are so  many wonderful memories that I fear I will forget.  Even down to specific smells, so I have been writing a lot.

I wrote the following in my journal, a few days before she died.  It contains just a few of my fondest memories of grandma.

Of all the people in my growing up years, one of my dearest was Grandma.  Her given name was Loula, an orphan she was, how blessed I am that God gave her to be my grandma. 

My earliest memories of grandma's house were of morning I spent upon the 'devan' crying and watching mommy go off to work.  Afternoons were lots of fun riding in the basket of grandma's tricycle.  we knew everyone along the way to the market, Little Lake cemetary and finally the park!  My pal was suzie dog.
The service grandma showed to me in those early years became a strong part of who I am to the day.  Thank you grandma for loving me.
As years went by, to grade school I went and grandma and grandpa moved to ......... and then to  ..................  I remember Christmas at the big white house with the front steps and basement.  We went to the forest to cut down our tree and brought it back home.  There was a HUGE garden next door that another trip we spent picking, snapping and canning green beans.  Another place, I remember picking blacberries by the railroad tracks.  We must have canned 50 quarts as we had everything blackberry for several years, even blackberry ice cream.
During summers when mom and dad were not teaching, we spent long days fixing up the old house for the next renter, always hoping grandma and grandpa would move back HOME!  The funnest places were the side yard garden, gated on both ends, behind the little house and of course the bathroom in the garage.  It was a little house but fulled with so many big memories.
In my high school years grandma continued to give to me.  Back the old house, she would often invite me over for an impromptu cake lesson.  She so patiently taught me skills of her trade.  I also remember our freezer, often being full of bread that grandmother had made.
You see, if I had to sum up grandma's life, I would use the words Faithful Servant.  She humbly and faithlfully served her husband, her children, her grandchildren like me, members of the Church, members of the community through extension groups and cake classes, her neighbors and everyone she met.  She did this quetly with EVER complaining.  Mostly grandma was a faithful servant of God,  She will hear 'Well done, good and faithful servant.  Enter into the joy of my rest."
Please pray for me and my family as I travel through this difficult time.
Blessings,  Suzie


armyfamilyok said...

I know you're going through so much right now. Our prayers are with you and the family. We miss you and hope that you'll be ready to visit and share soon.

Hugs my friend!!

Anonymous said...

I can "see" your tears as you wrote this beautiful sentiment. Praying His comfort during the days to come. Thank you for sharing your precious grandma with us.


Anonymous said...

I was reminded of my own sweet grandparents who are now asleep in Jesus. I still miss them so many years later. Your grandparents were beautiful, wrinkles and all. I can tell you will always cherish the memories and appreciate the firm foundation it sounds like they gave you. Blessings to you Suzie. Thank you for sharing with us.
Sonya in TX