Day 50: Goodbye, Sweet Grandma

February 19, 2012: On Sunday afternoon with the song “There Will Be A Day” by Jeremy Camp playing on the radio, Grandma Betty opened her eyes for the last time and looked up as she heard her name being called, closed her eyes again, and breathed her last.

Grandma, I will always remember your laughter and the funny sayings that were yours alone– when you were surprised: “Goodness gracious!” “There are no words! No words!” “Can you believe it?!”  “That was the best {insert any food here} I ever had!” Then you would bite the corner of your lip, scrunch up your nose and laugh really hard.  We grandkids could tease you incessantly with frogs that you loathed, pretend that you forgot to put a $20 bill in one of our Christmas cards while everyone else got one (you were mortified! until we burst out laughing and did it again the next year), and called you by your real first name.

When I was young and we came to visit, the first thing I’d do was to search around your living room to find the new decoration you’d purchased to make your home beautiful.  I learned to take less of a first helping at dinner because we’d have to have seconds of everything– and when it came to your famous scalloped potatoes and flat bread (“Look how flat it is! It’s very flat!”) seconds and thirds were no problem. Any present you received, you’d feel it, shake it a few times, and say over and over, “What could it be? I wonder what it could be?” and we’d start yelling, “Grandma! Just open it!” And you’d start laughing and take your time slowly peeling the tape back.

I remember sitting on your “davenport” and looking through the enchanting smelling encyclopedias (that’s when I began to appreciate smelling old books, and when I come across that particular scent, I’m transported back 25 years), admiring your beautiful geraniums and pansies on the red deck of the old white farmhouse, falling asleep in the summertime upstairs in that same farmhouse with the night breeze wafting gently through screen while the crickets chirped in the field, Easter egg hunting through the yard with my cousins in early spring, the ancient hollyhocks that kept guard by the side of the house year after year,  the willow tree in the backyard, and then your new apartment that you loved and it was just perfect!  When serving coffee to me, you were horrified that I wanted to put milk in my coffee, not drink it black.  And your molasses cookies with the creamy white frosting!

Grandma you were always so full of love, laughter, wisdom, determination, tears for every occasion, and concern for your family.  Your faith brought you through this past year of trials and brought our family closer together.  Thank you for giving me life, because if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be here.  I miss you, but I know that you’re in Heaven with Jesus and playing cards with your sisters (they don’t allow “cheating” in Heaven, so you can’t make up your own rules as you go along!), and you don’t have to worry for us anymore…  Love you Grandma Betty!

“There will be a day with no more tears
No more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place
Will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face”

 

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