Thankfully the three of my four children that are home are all napping right now which is allowing me to come to terms with losing my beautiful and loving Grandma. It's also allowing me to do the ugly cry without worrying them too much. I'll be honest, even though I had several days to prepare myself for this, and at times even wished she could go so that she could have her mind and health back, I am not handling this well. Sometimes I think we don't realize just how much someone meant to us until they're gone.
My entire childhood I grew up right next door to my grandparents. So many of my childhood memories involve them and the joy I felt as a child. I can still hear the slamming of the chain link gate as I would run next door to visit for a cookie or creamsicle or a butterfly bandaid to make my owies all better. Or I can hear the slamming of the gate which meant we would soon have a visitor walking through our back door. I can still see her beautiful pink peonies in full bloom right next to her back door. I can still hear her beautiful humming that would lead me to her somewhere in her home. I cherish the memories I have of our family singing four part harmony to FHE hymns, "Down By the Old Mill Stream", and even "Happy Birthday". (Our family can really rock "Happy Birthday".)
Her home was always filled with happiness and food. She would bake for days in preparation of her kids and grandkids coming to visit. At holidays the counter would be filled with cookies, chips and dip, nuts to crack, and popcorn. Her puffed rice was a specialty and always served in her avocado-green bowls. Sunday dinners were around her large kitchen table and her scurrying back and forth between the stove and table until we had to force her to sit down and eat. Her home was filled with comfort, love, happiness, and peace.
My grandma was a true foundation in my life. She was the ultimate example of true love to her spouse, service, love of family, purity, and so much more. I honestly can say that I do not ever remember hearing an unkind word towards anyone cross her lips. She and my grandpa are the epitome of true love. They were always holding hands and speaking softly to one another. She was my grandpa's "beautiful bride" and his "queen". And she too knew how to make someone feel loved and special. Every time I would leave her she would look into my eyes and tell me just how special I was to her and that I was her ray of sunshine. These past several years as I would say goodbye to her she would include, "You're such a good little mother." Sometimes I would tease and tell her that she didn't see what kind of mother I was at home, but it always made me want to live up to what kind of mother she thought I was.
I will forever cherish the memories of my grandma. Not many are as blessed as I to have lived and loved so close to their grandparents. I also cherish my knowledge of the plan of salvation and the knowledge that I have that I know I will see her again. I look forward to meeting her again and seeing her big, beautiful smile and hearing her tell me how happy she is to see me.