With love on Valentine’s Day, Grandma

We all have grandmothers.  Some were gone before we came and some we never saw, and others, if you are lucky, show you the deep love of age and wisdom.  I am one of the lucky ones.  My grandma died today at the age of 90.  While not a surprise, it is still hard to know she is no longer here, that Gage will probably not remember her.

She was the second oldest of 9 and mother of 6 (all of which she had in a 10 year pear period).  She married my grandfather when she was 19 and he built her a house up the street from his family (he was the oldest of 12) where they lived their lives together.  And when I say he built her a house that’s what I mean, handmade with love, no contractors or shortcuts.  My grandfather died in 1992 and my grandmother never considered another man.  Her life was full of family and church.

She was a strong woman full of unshakeable faith in God and was generous to a fault.  Her door was always open (and if it wasn’t everyone in the world knew where to find the key) to anyone who wanted to talk or was in need.  She was a formidable woman and the older I got the more I appreciated the authentic and full life she lived.  It was and is inspiring.  Family came first, but she never met a stranger and she kept her mind sharp over the years with crossword puzzles and chronicling her life for her kids and grandkids.  And she received all of the love she gave out ten-fold at the end of her life.  In hospice care for a year and a half, three meals a day were fed to her by her children or grandchildren and she was not ever alone in the days before her death, with the family holding vigil for her.

She instilled a love of family and God in her children that will be seen for many, many generations to come.  She was a rock.  She was love and faith.  She was my grandmother and I will miss her.

151I love photo of Gage meeting his great-grandma for the first time.