Monday, July 1, 2013

I'll love you always, Grandmom

In loving remembrance of 
  January 25, 1913 - June 29, 2013

When I became a grandmother, I immediately thought of all the ways my grandmothers had enriched my life and I was determined to do all those things for my grandchildren too.  Oh, grandmothers are the best!  And I believe becoming a Grandma is the best thing that ever happened to me!

 I began to understand the importance of this role, because I had two  very loving grandmothers growing up.   I knew that they gave me a special  kind of love, unconditional like my mother's love, but without the worries.

  No one tells stories like Grandma, they had all the  family history to share, could help me understand my parents better, could tell me what my great-grandparents were like, what our town and country  used to be like.  They told me from their hearts, so now I can share stories from mine.
Where else could you get information  about these things, I mean the little stories, secrets,  tales of funny happenings.
   My grandmothers  had time for me even when my parents didn't. After all, my mother had seven kids- she was pretty busy!
I was the oldest--her babysitter, kitchen help, chore girl.  I am truly  grateful that I learned to take care of a home and children, and I had fun with all  my little brothers and sisters and baking with Mom.   But at Grandma's,  I could  just be a child,  get some attention, be spoiled a little. They were my #1 fans, when I was a teen and I thought my parents didn't understand me. They believed in me.

       My maternal grandmother taught me to  be hospitable.  You were never in her house for five minutes before she offered you food and drink. I stayed with her many weekends and cleaned for her, but it didn't feel like work.  She gave me ice cream with pretzels while we watched soap operas,  and 60's TV shows like The Andy Griffith Show, Mr. Ed,  I Dream Of Jeannie, and her favorite-- Lawrence Welk. She had a metal porch swing and old fashioned  parlor furniture. She wore frumpy,old house-dresses and stockings with garters rolled down around her ankles.On her poor, old feet were the ugliest,  cheap old-lady  shoes, that she cut-out for her sore bunions.     She was plump and cuddly and sweet,  and she flattered me with  constant praise and told me family secrets.
She had a cookie jar full of store bought cookies. Silly me, I thought they were really special, because all we had were homemade ones at our house.

Many years later , she came to live with me in her late 80s and 90s. We called her "Amazing Grace"
and sang that song to her, while my son played the guitar.  Caregiving  was hard at times, but a rich, rewarding  experience, that  provided many important lessons for my young children.  She died at age 95, in 1988.

       My  dad's mother  taught me to sew, do crafts of every sort.  As a teen, I spent time at her seashore home, enjoyed going to the beach with her. She had a mobile home, and it was neat and decorated beautifully with handmade curtains, pillows, slipcovers etc.  She mastered every craft that came down the pike!  
     She cut and permed my hair, bought me new shoes when school started, took me to get my ears pierced the day I turned 18.  Yeah, she was really cool, and always thought I was the smartest, most creative, beautiful person.  I know I was her favorite. She called me "Linny"  Nobody else called me that.
  Later, she and Pop-Pop traveled great distances to visit me and my little family,  when I was a Navy wife, moving all around.  I took them  sightseeing, and she and I walked in the woods to gather terrarium plants, winterberry, and wildflowers to press.   However, in recent years,  she felt lonely and bitter, and squabbled with me and others in the family.   Lots of times she rejected me and even my uncle- her own son.   She was really feisty, and gave the nurses at the nursing home a hard time.  Sure wish I  could  have made things better.

Grandmom and my youngest grandchild,  Christmas 2010

Gary and Thomas visited Grandmom recently.

100, and sharp as a tack!  January 2013

My grandmother just died and she was 100,   and 1/2.

That's a long life, and I had her a long time, but I feel like a part of me is gone.
But one hundred years is  not enough time to say all the things, ask all the questions, mend all the fences, learn all the details..... unanswered questions......unfinished business.

  It's over,    I can never go see her again.

 I think I am becoming my grandmother.  (A little bit like both of them, actually.)
 Even the sound of my flip-flops flapping down the hall of my old mobile home sound like her.

Watering my African Violets-- I think of  her.

 The vintage things I sell, they remind me of her.

Our last visit, in May. You never know when it's the last time. 

Oddly, there will be no funeral or memorial services. That's what she wanted, and I think it's terrible, I'm trying to come to terms with this.  But I will honor her somehow, in my own way.  My sisters and I am going to go spend an afternoon with Daddy and we'll  be together remembering the woman she was and talking about how much she meant to us.

Thank you , Lord, for giving me  my Grandmother to love, and be loved by.
May I be the kind of woman my grandchildren  always look up to!
 And I'll be happy if they adore  me half as much as I loved mine!

Love, Linda

I joined the blog hop, Say It Saturday, a link for older bloggers!


Stephanie said...

Hi Linda! I came across your blog via the Bloglovin' Blog Hop. I had tears in my eyes reading your post. I feel like I relate to you because my grandmother just passed away in April and her memorial service was 2 weeks ago. She was such a precious lady to fact, my blog is dedicated to her :)
Your grandmother certainly lived a full life! I appreciate you sharing a little bit about her with us.
I am now following your blog and I look forward to visiting again.


Fisia Urru said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fisia Urru said...

Ciao! ti ho scoperto grazie a bloglovin' blog hop.
Il tuo blog è molto simpatico.Se ti va vieni a trovarmi!

Betsy@ coastal-colors said...

What a loving tribute! I'm so sorry for the loss of your Grandmother! She lived a full life; what a blessing! I enjoyed reading your sweet remembrances of her!

Susan said...

Sunday, July 14 - Awwww, Linda. I'm sitting here in the air-conditioned living room to escape the sauna of the rest of the house.

My eyes are filled with tears, having just finished your beautiful tribute to your grandmothers.

Wow, longevity funs on both sides of your family.

Both of your grandmas helped make you the person you are today.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for commenting, too. Your day sounded great.

Please come and visit me again! Susan

debra @ HOMESPUN said...

I am so sorry for your loss but what a beautiful tribute to her. You have me crying but half of it is sad and the other half happy for what a wonderful influence and blessing she was in your life.