… our family left an era. The torch has been passed to the next generation. Those years of getting together for Christmas with all the aunts & uncles – normal Christmas at Grandma’s – has suddenly transformed, through the eyes of my children, into those huge reunions with all those people I didn’t know. Now those “times at Grandma’s” are when my brothers & I get together at Mom’s. It’s still fun, but looks different from this angle.
… I glanced around the sanctuary & realized that, even though I don’t call this large group of people on the phone often or visit their homes on a regular basis, the fact that these people knew me from the time I was in diapers, they remember when I was that geeky jr. high kid, watched me turn into the babe I am today, were there for my wedding, for holidays through the years, they were there when Dad died, when Grandma died, & will be there whenever any big event happens in the future. It makes me realize how special family is. Even if they don’t know my every day life, they know me! They know my history. Grandma lost her mother at aged two & a half, so I think always felt like she didn’t have some of that. She did a great job of passing down to all of us the importance of family.
… at calling hours my brothers, cousin, & I enjoyed a good laugh when Mr. “Notso”, or “Was”, came by. We were trying to guess what his name was, but ironically, the very elderly gentleman was Young! Also, my Grandma’s high school English teacher came to call, believe it or not. She had Grandma as well as most of my aunts & uncles. Grandma & she ended up being neighbors the last few years. That blew me away that one of her teachers could be there! But not only that, she was dressed to the nines – with a nice suit on, frilly blouse, makeup & cameo pin. She looked great! I wonder what our generation will look like in the same scenario years from now. We don’t dress up like Grandma’s generation does. It will be interesting.
… that old cookie drawer came to mind for the first time in a long while. Grandma always had that bottom drawer in the kitchen stocked for us with Keebler Fudge Striped cookies & Fig Newtons. And her refrigerator always had a Klondike to share.
… Aunt Gwen gave me Grandma’s cross necklace before the funeral. Grandma wanted me to have it. She wore it all the time until the day she died. I wonder at what other special occasions that necklace will be a comfort to me in the future – a part of Grandma being with me.
… my brother, Paul, sang in the pew behind me so I could hear his voice well. Can I just say how much I love singing with him? I cherished harmonizing with him through all the verses of Great Is Thy Faithfulness. The second verse about the “harvest” will never be sung, passed by unnoticed, again. Grandma was a farmer’s wife. I’ve grown to appreciate the seasons living out here on her farm.
… Uncle Gary pointed out something that I took for granted – Grandma liked just hanging around her children & grandchildren. I never really thought about that before, but that does capture Grandma. She enjoyed being around us! She was happiest in the buzz of family life.
… it hit me Grandma won’t be there to point out all the relation’s markers at the cemetery anymore. We’ll have to plant those red geraniums without her. Who’s going to tell us what’s “proper”? I’m not ready for life without her yet! At 37, I should be – I’ve been so spoiled to have my grandma this long – but I don’t feel spoiled. Today I’m just feeling like life is way too short.
… as I looked around at the dinner afterward, I saw how much my big, beautiful family has in common. For all our many unique differences, we are very much alike after all. We have a great sense of humor, appreciate fine quality, have talented & loyal women, have hard-working & handsome men, for the most part we’re intelligent, volunteer & are well thought of in the community, can cook, we enjoy life, & love our family deeply. Grandma has a whole lot to be proud of.