Today is my grandma’s funeral so I thought I’d share a little letter I wrote to her on the day she passed. I think everyone needs to know what an amazing person she is. I’m SO lucky to have had her influence on my life and her passing has made me appreciate life and the influence that we all have on other’s lives more.
I got the call today from my mom and I just knew what it was going to be. We came up to the hospital and visited you last night. It was pouring hard. Tyler drove and I was in the passenger seat with Katelyn in the back. Our hearts were really heavy cause I think we all knew. We tried to have light conversation at first, but the closer we got to the hospital, the quieter we all got. I had a feeling last summer that things were about to change. I was sitting at the dinner table at your house for Sunday dinner, my favorite thing, and I just looked around it hit me that this wasn’t going to last forever. There would come a day when I wouldn’t get to go to “grandma’s house for dinner.” A couple months later we found out you had cancer and I knew that’s why I had felt that way.
Last night when we walked into the hospital I walked to your bedside and told you that we were there and that we love you. I told you that we have been thinking about you. We stayed for about an hour and a half and the longer I stayed, the more peace I felt that it was your time to go. It was very obvious that you didn’t have much time left. I’m glad that you have left your sick body here and you are in Heaven now with our Heavenly Father and your boy again. I know Mark is so happy to have his mom with him again, but we will sure miss you here. You two can go on walks again and scout out the best places so you can show us when we get there. I know you’re in a better place. It makes it easier knowing that we’ll see you again someday, but it’s hard because it feels like too long from now. There is so much more we have to do here and it’s going to be hard to not be able to share it with you.
I’ve been thinking all day today about what I’ll miss most about you being gone. Your house and Sundays were my happy place. I just felt like I could be myself completely over there. No one judged me, my mistakes were forgiven, it was just peaceful. I can only describe it as being a kid again. Like my troubles could be left at the door for a few hours, then when I left I could resume my adult life.
I loved your garden. I’m really sad that I won’t be able to go over to your house and get as many zucchini and tomatoes as I want any more, freshly picked and sitting in plastic bowls on your kitchen counter. Thanks for the gardening tips last year. I’m glad I got the chance to ask you some of the questions I had. My mom told me that you were so proud of me that I was starting my own garden and that made me feel good. I’m going to miss your fried chicken and your roast. Everyone would always compliment you on how good it was and we meant every word. You would always have some sort of humble comment back to us like, “oh, the chicken is a little dry,” or, “I don’t know what happened to the gravy today” but everything was always perfect. I came over to photograph you making chicken once about a year ago for my blog and I’m so glad I did. The photo of you holding Mark’s fried chicken recipe is priceless to me. It was hard to write up your recipes afterward because you’re the kind of cook that doesn’t use recipes. You just threw in a dash of this and pinch of that and it was always turn out so well. I’m going to miss your roast the most. I don’t like any other roast that anyone else makes but I LOVE your roast. You brown it perfectly on the outside and it’s so good. The gravy that you make with it is incredible too. I hope my mom can teach me how to make it because I really wish I would have learned how. I’m going to miss your coconut cream pie made out of Jello mix (one of the few things you didn’t make from scratch), your strawberry angel food cake. I’m going to miss your mashed potatoes that you make just right and your rolls that you would always send home with me in plastic bags with the little white ties to close them in college I would come for Sunday dinners. Thank you for taking care of me and never sending me away empty handed. You would give me fruit and granola bars and anything else I needed.
When I was little, one of my favorite things to do was come to grandma’s house and make homemade noodles. You would pull up a chair to the counter and roll out sheets of dough. Then you would get out your noodle maker and help us roll the sheets flatter and flatter, then through the setting that would cut it into pieces. We would cook some to eat and you would lay some out on cookie sheets to dry out and cook later. I would always sneak some of the raw dough and you would always tell me that the raw eggs were going to make me sick. Once they even did! And I’m pretty sure that was like 2 years ago. You are so wise 🙂
I would love going to the grocery store with you. I was really little then. We would go to Macey’s and I would happily follow along, and you would buy Jocelyn and I a hot dog or an ice cream cone. I just felt so content when I was with you. We would play legos in your basement on your bright red carpet. We get out the big yellow bucket and dump them on the floor and make big buildings.
The fourth of July BBQ’s at your house were my favorite. You would make the best feast (as you always did). Hamburgers, and corn on the cob, and smoked beans. You would spend hours making everything and then we would sit out on the lawn on blankets and just enjoy the weather and being together. My heart was happiest when I was at your house. And that’s what I’ll miss the most.
I bet you are stressing out right now in Heaven feeling bad about all of the piles of fabric you collected over the years and left in your basement. Either that, or Mark is making you laugh about it because he thinks it’s funny that we have to sort through all of it 🙂 Don’t worry about it, grandma. You sewed the most beautiful Barbie clothes. I wish I would have learned to sew from you. I don’t have enough patience. Maybe you could send some patience down to help a sister out?
I love you and I hope you know how much I love you. I’m glad I told you how much I loved coming over. I would tell you that it was the highlight of my week when I would get to come over and you would just laugh like you didn’t believe it. Then I would try to convince you that it was true because it was. I’m going to miss you so much. I can’t really put into words how much my heart aches to be able to experience all of these again. Thank you for always being so excited to hear about my life and for being so impressed and proud at what I was doing. Thank you for being my safe place. Thank you for loving and accepting Tyler into the family. You always got such a kick out of him. He was walk into the door and say, “Grandma!!!” and you give you big hug. You loved it. I love that he always called you “grandma” instead of Emma. I told him I liked how he did that and he said he did it because you said you didn’t like your name. You said you would be mad if anyone ever named their children after you. We’ll see about that 😉 Tyler would pray for you and ask Heavenly Father to help you. Thank you for helping me understand that family is the most important thing in this world. Just by how you lived your life.
I miss you more than you could possibly know, and you shaped my life more than you would ever admit. You shouldn’t be so humble all the time…you are pretty amazing and everyone knows it. Until we see each other again, I’ll think of you and know you’ll be with me.