Monday, August 16

a celebration of life.

today is one of those days when i wish that there was such a thing as public teleportation. you go to the station, swipe your pass, and get on a little platform that beams you anywhere you want to go. i would like to think that it would be called 'trekking', too, but that's beside the point.

i'd like to be with my family for the day to join in the celebration of my great-grandmother's life. 

grandma vivian was 98 and a half when she passed away last week, at home. after almost a hundred years, it wasn't really a surprise that she was leaving this earth, but the world does seem a little less bright without her here.

seeing that she was my father's grandmother, she was always old to me. her tiny little body, shrinking every year (although she refused to believe it and insisted everyone was just getting so tall!), her bright white hair and her face wrinkled from hard work and decades of smiles.

i'll always remember playing in her little house that somehow stretched to fit our ever-growing family. puzzles and coloring books and the old, old noah's ark set that my dad had played with when he was a boy - setting up the tiny animals, dividing the species amongst the cousins. she had a chair with a little notch in the arm that could fit a penny inside and we'd try to get it out just to shove it in again. we'd always hope for a candy from the dish before we gave her a hug and kiss when we left.

we loved her backyard: the giant garden, the neighbor's chickens in the tree, the little pathways along the fences. we fed the horses next door, ran around in the trees and occasionally helped in the garden.

when i got older my mom, grandma and aunts would take turns bringing dinner to her and staying to chat. she loved when my mom would bring a chicken strip meal from arctic circle as a treat. they worked on family history together for hours, my mom recording grandma's stories about relatives none of us had ever met. 

my favorite story: 
when grandma was a little girl, she was pretty rough and tumble. her mother passed away very young. grandma always had short hair because she couldn't be bothered to care for long hair - she was too busy working hard and having a good time. one day, her cousin came to play. her cousin was all dolled up in a frilly little dress and was basically the opposite of everything grandma was all about. as they went off to play, little grandma got a wonderful, awful idea. "let's go make mudpies," she said. of course, when they returned to the house her cousin's sweet little dress was a wreck. her cousin was in a world of trouble. and grandma? even as she told the story, eighty some odd years later, her eyes twinkled merrily (as they often did) and she smiled a little. 
"i was just peached," she stated, as proud as could be.

 toward the end grandma wasn't quite as sharp as she used to be, but with so years under her belt and so many grandchildren and greats and great-greats, you can't blame her for losing track of some of the family. when the husband came along, poor grandma kept saying, "yes, i know that's cathie's daughter, bradie, but who's the boy?" ellie was born just one week after grandma turned 98. ellie had two living great-great grandmas when she was born - five generations of family on both sides of my family.

we were blessed to have her with us for so long. she was a beautiful, kind, loving woman and i wish i could be with our family for the day, celebrating her wonderful life.  

love ya, grandma vivian. 

p.s. - i wouldn't mind in the slightest having that bright white hair when i get old.
hint, hint to the man in charge of these things ... :)


Just SO said...

Bradie this is so beautiful. Your mom and dad printed it out and read it when we went down to Grandma Vivian's grave later on today. It was wonderful.

Madalyn said...

Oh sad! I Pray for your family, we all know how hard the last 2 years have been for you guys.