This is a difficult post. My grandma passed away early Friday morning. I know this gets said a lot about loved ones who pass on, but she was truly an amazing woman. I just wanted to share some photos and memories of her.
Let me explain this first photo. Ma did not enjoy having her photo taken. This was the look I would get form her if I tried. If she was going to be photographed, it would be on her terms. Sometimes her terms meant no photo at all. Other times, she would allow it. When she would, I got this:
Most of the time, I had to sneak photos when she wasn't looking. I love this one!
She was an amazing cook -- and not just because her food tasted so good! Mike could not believe how much food she was capable of making the first Thanksgiving he visited. And while she didn't cook that much everyday, she was more than happy to make whatever we wanted, especially those of us she thought looked a little underweight and "peaked". It seemed like she was always cooking. I like this photo -- this is one of the ways I remember her best.
She made the most beautiful quilts. She didn't make them to be fancy, but she easily could have -- she was that talented. She made gorgeous scrap quilts. At the funeral, we draped her quilts over the family pews. It was comforting to know during that difficult moment that I was sitting on something her hands had touched -- something she had left behind that would remind us that she was here. A beautiful thought. I wish now that I had worked harder on my quilt so she could have seen the finished product.
She was in a lot of pain Thursday night, and it seemed like it was going to happen. Mom called me around 4:30 Friday morning and simply said, "She's gone." She was the type who would not have wanted to be in a state where she needed to be constatnly cared for, so I do take comfort knowing that she was able to lead a normal, active life until very close to the end, and that her suffering was relatively short. And I know she was ready. Several months ago, she was in the hospital for blood treatments. When she got home from her treatment, she gathered her children, and told them that the nurse had told her she had cancer, but not to worry about her, because she had lived a good life and was ready to go. Everyone was stunned, until they started to realize that this is not the type of information a nurse would give. As it turns out, the nurse had come in to tell her that some of her blood tests had been cancelled.
Ma made good use of her time -- she was always doing something -- canning, quilting, cleaning, working in the garden. She did not waste time, and she lived her life to the fullest. I hope that when I look back on my own life, I can say this about myself.
I am proud to be her granddaughter, and I miss her terribly. Things will not be the same. She made our lives richer.