Beautiful Life

Hey child up and go; A big world is out there waiting for us to live in every day. Outside you will find, there is love all around you; Takes you, makes you wanna' say; That it's a beautiful life and it's a beautiful world and it's a beautiful time to be here, to be here, to be here. -Fisher

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Moving on

It has been a long week for me.  Not because of the passing of my beloved grandmother last week, but because of catching up.  To all of you that emailed me, messaged me, facebooked me and sent cards, I say thank you.  You can never really be totally ready for death when it shows up in your life, but in this case, it was a blessing. My grandmother lived a long and amazing life ....amazing to me anyway, and she was more than ready to go.  I will miss her terribly, but the truth is, I've been missing her for years.  That is to say that I have grieved off and on for some time now as Grandma slipped away from us, and so this was another step in that process. 

Today, I have to move on.  Shortly after this post my blog will return to it's regularly scheduled to speak.  And by shortly, I really just mean as soon as I get the chance to, you know, breath.  Then I will change the background and music and start posting again! 

But, Grandma will never be far from my thoughts and my heart.  That woman was really a huge part of my life .....Everyone should have a someone like that to miss one day.  Really. 

In 1995 I presented my grandmother with a book for her birthday.  It was purely selfish.  The book was titled Grandmother's Memories.  One year later, she gave it back to me and I now have 45 pages of handwritten memories!    There were pages at the front that were scripted and asked questions. 

My grandmother preferred to do things her own way, so of course, a lot of those pages have many blank spots left.  But, the back of the book is another story altogether.  There were 20-30 blank pages....she filled every one of them!  And wrote in some of the margins.  I only wish it had had 20 more pages, because I know her, and she would have filled them too! 

This is one of my most treasured possessions now!  I highly encourage you all to run out and buy some kind of journal like this for any special person in your life.  Once they are gone, it's too late. 

And now I really just want to share one of the many stories collected in her memoir.  I promise I won't fill blog posts with oodles of memorabilia.  But this is one that will give you a chuckle. 

It's a story she shared many times, but it's memorable to me because it is one of the first memories Lizzie has of her.  When I married Paul, Lizzie was four years old.  Grandma first met her when she came to Charleston for a bridal shower for me.  Which means that my grandmother was about 80 years old at the time.  I think she worried that she looked so old she would frighten children.  So, when she met a new one, she could be heard recounting this narrative.  It was Lizzie's introduction to my grandmother and Grandma's way of breaking the ice ....though I doubt Lizzie even took notice of "how old" Grandma looked.  She did however, remember this story! 

Grandma:  When I was born I was premature.  3lbs, no hair.  I was wrapped up in cotton batting and placed in a box in front of the oven for warmth.  It was the latest in incubators!  Grandma Hutchison came 20 miles by train to see me.  She told me later, "You were the prettiest baby."  Grandma Hanson lived next door.  She said, "Don't you believe looked like a withered old potato!"  And, I'm sure she was right.  And I am proof that things go in cycles, for I now look like a withered old potato! 

She would laugh at her grand joke!  And we would laugh with her.  We loved our withered old potato of a grandma!  


Paul said...

Great post, Baby! She was a fantastic lady!

The Source said...

I absolutely love that story! I always love hearing how they tended preemies way back then, by sticking them near the stove or something. Amazing that she survived, being born so small, and lived such a long and full life. She sure sounds like a very special lady...for a withered old potato. :)

I'm sorry your grandma's gone, but so glad you had the time to get those precious memories down. My grandma's mad at me every other day now because of decisions that we're having to make for their care. Still...I'm the one taking food and goodies over and dragging them to their appointments, so she can't stay mad too long!

Christine said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Your Grandma was wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I needed to see this post just as much as I am sure you needed to write it. Between this one and her photo collage, you did her justice and I know she would be honored.

I can't wait to get a copy of the journal. I am sure it will soon become one of my greatest treasures, too.

It is interesting that you recommend everyone should give such a thing to their loved ones. Charles and I actually decided many years ago to keep a journal for each of our children. I am focusing more on Brianna's while Charles is focusing more on Christian's. Ocassionally we have some cross-over. In each of their journals, we write down everything from random thoughts, to sharing our favorite poems and passages, to offering our advice sometimes even on subjects we know they will not face for many years to come. You know...all those things you would want to tell your child just in case you weren't around to do so. We figured that even if we were around to do so, it would still leave each of them with a customized piece of us through the years and something for them to have when they're older and maybe even treasure, too.

Maybe it's time we give one of these to Mama and Daddy.

wingepr said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your grandmother. What a wonderful treasure she left you. I bet she was an awesome lady.

I love the new look.