Thursday, May 21, 2015
Don't you love old pictures? This is my husband's grandmother. And even though she is quite a bit older than me she was my friend. I love her dearly. And I look forward to the day when I can see her again and meet her sweetheart. And it won't matter that we are years apart. I imagine her this way when she will be resurrected. Fabulous 40's hair style and full brows. With a glowing smile and a her eyes full of love for her sweetheart, who will be at her side.
I am thankful I spent time with her here on earth. Our reunion will be so much sweeter. This wonderful woman loved our Savior and had a testimony of Him. She was married in the Mesa Arizona temple. She drove all the way to LA after her sealing, or marriage, because she wanted her reception that same day. She raised 4 wonderful children. I am so thankful for the upbringing my father in law had. He is a wonderful guy. Grandma was a great example of someone who served the Lord. She served for 13 years as Stake Relief Society President in the Huntington Beach Stake. (Relief Society is our Church's woman's group. A stake is a large area which makes up several congregations.) I always loved when sisters would tell me about her when Grandma was RS president. I use to live in the Huntington Beach Stake. Some sisters would tell me how she could do anything. Or how she took them under her wing. They tell me how she helped and encouraged them. She was a very talented homemaker.
I remember at her second husband's service they had a luncheon put on my her ward. Someone asked if they should call someone to put away the chairs. She told them no. Her family can take care of that. And she told them and they went to work. It was wonderful to see the great matriarch that she was. She set a great example for her family.
We shared a love for family history. She told me stories and let me scan all her pictures. I would try and send her pictures of my kids. My mom even came with me one time and helped me scan her pictures. It was hard to keep the kids out of her stuff, listen to her, and scan the pictures. She loved the company. And she was always so willing to give me (or anyone) any of her paintings. She was a very talented painter. I love having her painting in my home to remind me of her. (She told us she wanted all her art at her service luncheon after she died. And we couldn't leave till all the painting were accounted for. I was a little concerned about who would get the clown ones, but my hip niece loved them and the problem was solved)
And I learned even more from her. We loved seeing her at the Kerr Family Christmas. And we would visit her in the fall when we would go apple picking. She always loved when we would come. One time I was going to wake up one of my kids so they could see her and she told me to let them rest. She was so no nonsense about that kind of thing. She told me they needed their rest. And we tried to visit in May for her birthday. It was a little hard being there too long as she had cats and I feel crummy when I am around them. But it was always worth the sacrifice.
As she got older she started to lose her hearing and her sight. I can't imagine the loneliness that would bring. It has to be hard be an older woman. Your life is spent taking car of everyone. You are the center of your children's world. You are active at church and in the community. You then have grandchildren and your life is filled with more love. But then it can be harder to be everywhere you want to be. Harder to take care of yourself. It would be so hard to lose your hearing or vision. Harder to feel connected to your family or ward family. I can't imagine not even having books to comfort me when I get older. And of course Grandma was loved! And invited places. And we loved her. But it must have been lonely. That can happen when you live alone and not all your family is close.
I was talking to my father in law about it one time. I wanted her to know that we loved her and were thinking about her. He told me to call her. I always felt bad when we did because she couldn't hear us and sometimes she sounded frustrated. How can you talk to someone who was losing their hearing on the phone. He said that's not why you should call her. I found out he called his mom everyday. He didn't talk long. He just checked on her. But she knew that he was thinking about her. And I learned an important lesson. I started calling her every Sunday. We didn't talk long. A lot of times she didn't really hear what I was saying. But she knew I was thinking of her. She would tell me to give my kids her love. She might tell me a fun thing that happened that week. And I found that as I did this my love for her grew. And her love for me grew as well.
One time when I called her I asked her what she was doing. She replied, "Oh, just waiting for you to call." I am so thankful for the lesson my father in law and grandmother taught me. Life is busy when your children are young. But if we can take time to remember and show our love to others our lives will be richly blessed. She wasn't just my husband's grandmother. She was my friend. And I look forward to seeing her again. And I hope that when I am in those golden years, when my life slows down, that someone will visit me or give me a call.