Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Great-Grandma Virginia 1918 - 2009

Grandma at Emily's wedding, August 2008.

My wonderful great-grandma died today at the age of 90. I'll miss the many fond memories I have of her and I'll forever remember and be grateful for her love and the sacrifices she made that have shaped the way my family is today. She was a great lady; honest, enduring, and filled with devotion to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Ever since I was really young, I always looked forward to Sunday evening dinners at Grandma Ginny's...
-running around and playing ball or frisbee on the lawn with the cousins while the adults visited with each other on the patio;
-getting older and staying with the adults on the patio while the little kids ran and played and weaved in and around the table and chairs;
-"dammit, Pete!"
-setting the alarm off with the flush of the toilet;
-the kids pushing each other around the sidewalk in the green garden wheelbarrow;
-driving lessons in the church parking lot across the street;
-grandma treats every Sunday;
-the fake french horns on her Christmas tree that we tried to blow into anyway;
-how hot the little house got when it filled up with family... but how it still felt good to be there with everyone you loved inside;
-not realizing that the door I thought was the front door to her house wasn't really the front door until I was 20;
-playing Cat's Cradle, hopscotch, tag, the egg game, hands-up stands-up, cartwheeling, and climbing trees with Emily, Chelsea, Laura, Christian, Katie, and Hannah;
-interviewing Grandma about her life for a school project;
-the little ceramic house figurines;
-hangin' on the clotheslines;
-cucumbers in vinegar;
-the drawers that always stuck;
-losing balls and frisbees and kids in the trees in the yard;
-the candy dish;
-trying to get the kitchen sink to stay on;
-mosquito bites... the zapper;
-throwing those little pokey balls at each other that came off the trees in the yard;
-the squeaky kitchen towl roller! (such an integral part of my childhood)
-that stump on the patio;
-laughing together;
-Grandma asking all the kids about school and their music and sports and travels;
-bringing the table leaves out from behind the door and putting them in the dining table to make it big enough for everyone;
-the pink carpet in the living room;
-watching Touched by an Angel in the TV room and fighting the cousins for Grandma's recliner;
-Avon lotions...

This list could go on and on and I've recently realized the huge impact Grandma made on her posterity by working hard to put a meal together for the whole family every Sunday. The grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, parents, and children of the family had the opportunity to mingle, chat, share stories and advice, laugh, joke, cook, help, play, and catch-up weekly. I'm so grateful for the closeness and love I share with my extended family because of these opportunities that my amazing great-grandma gave us. I'll miss her and the wonderful times of my life that she made possible.
I'm happy to think of her now, in peace, and free from the toils and pains of old age. To think that she finally gets to be reunited with her husband who died over forty years ago is a joy. She deserves all the best for living a selfless, kind, and generous life.

Grandma and me, Christmas Eve 2006.
Grandma and Hallee, Christmas Eve 2006
'Til we meet again...


Michemily said...

So sweet.

cathy said...

I loved your post. I was laying in bed last night making my own list of those exact things: the sticky cabinets, the roast pot with the copper top, the squeaky kitchen towel roller, watching grandma stir an entire cube of butter into a pot of clam chowder, watching baseball on tv in the summer while my brothers mowed that crazy lawn, walking to Huber's to get groceries and putting them on grandmas "tab". She set a precedence that I hope we can live up to.

Laura Chamberlain said...

You tried to blow in the french horns too?! You're awesome. Thanks for sharing.

amanda said...

oh! the sqeaky kitchen towel roller! I wish I could have that. That was such a huge part of my childhood. I'm adding it to my list. :)

David and Brooke Gallagher said...

That was so wonderful about your Grandma! Cute blog, I will be checking it out for so awesome pics from all you world travels as a married woman!