Loosing my grandmother has been one of the hardest things I have yet faced. I have really been struggling with her death, despite knowing that she is with her Savior. I feel like maybe sharing a little about her will help me to move past this.
When I was a baby my grandmother insisted that she should take care of me while my parents were at work. I will never forget hearing her tell about taking me to infant swim classes. I think it must have been a favorite memory for her, because she spoke of it often. She continued to watch me until I reached school age. At that point I would stay with her during the summer and after school until my parents got home from work. If I close my eyes I can still hear her sing-song voice calling "Who's that knoooocking at my door?" as I stood out on the front porch giggling and waiting for her to throw open that big green door every morning.
On Sundays, when I was young, she and my grandfather took me to church with them. Church was extremely important to her. I believe that she was probably my first spiritual leader. My parents are both people of faith, but it was my grandmother that really drove home the significance in it.
Her life was a walking testimony to God's faithfulness. She had come from poverty, so much so, that a borrowed laundry basket served as her bed. Her father died when she was just 2, leaving her and her mother behind. Her mother soon married a man whom my grandmother proudly called "Daddy". Although he could never afford to legally adopt her, she consider herself his daughter, even using his last name.
Around the time she was 5 she was hit by a car. It was only by the grace of God that she lived through that experience for he had a greater plan for her life. She went on to marry my grandfather, and had 4 children. I would describe the relationship that my grandparents shared as playful; teasing each other every chance they got. I still laugh thinking of him telling us some tall tale, and her swinging at him shouting, "Oh ROBERT, you lie!" To which he would burst out laughing.
Oh there was so much laughter in her life, but there were hard times too. A house fire 1 week before the wedding of her oldest daughter burnt all the dresses. The following spring her youngest daughter passed away at the young age of 29. She told me so many times that there is no greater pain than loosing your child. Despite that, she carried on. She picked herself up and life moved on. When she lost my grandfather 10 years ago, she didn't shrivel up and give up on life, instead she embraced it. She continued to give of herself all the way up to the end of her life, serving in several local soup kitchens.
I can honestly say that I believe that she was the most generous person I have ever known. Hospitality was her gift. She opened her home up to anyone that needed it. Sometimes to aging relatives, sometimes to her children's friends, it didn't matter, they were always welcome. She was generous with her money as well, giving generously to many causes and never expecting anything in return. In addition she was a volunteer in numerous organizations over the years.
She viewed life as a blessing and lived each day to the fullest. One of the best lessons she taught me was that life goes on even through adversity. Ironic that she taught me how to deal with losing her, isn't it? Thank you for humoring me today while I ramble on about my "Mommom". It is has helped.