Friday, June 17, 2011

Seventy Years

Seventy years ago today my grandma and grandpa walked down the aisle and said “I do.” And for the last seventy years they did, for better and worse, in good times and bad, and through sickness and health.

As you may know from reading my blog in the last few weeks my grandpa recently passed away. Today is bittersweet. It’s a testament to lasting love and devotion. To the end my grandpa was worried about his sweet bride and that she would be okay when he was gone. I’ve written about him, so I’d like to tell you about my grandma.

For as long as I can remember Grandma’s been a spitfire. She’s a tiny little thing but her spirit and determination make up for what she lacks in size. Every time we visited I remember her energy and enthusiasm. She’s quite the dynamo.

Their family is large. She gave birth to and raised (with Grandpa’s help) thirteen children. I can’t imagine how she did it since I have trouble keeping up with myself and my kitty cat. One thing that I am always impressed by is how she can keep the kids in line, even now that they are grown and the boys grew bigger than her.

I watch how the kids have come around her and Grandpa during these last two tough months and I know that this speaks to what kind of parents they were. These kids love their parents and sacrifice to be there for them. That is what family is all about and they learned that in large part from Grandma.

Grandma and Grandpa always put out a garden and she would can and make jam and do things in the kitchen that I don’t even know about. She makes a mean strawberry freezer jam and in my opinion nothing Smuckers or Welch’s makes come close. Having a meal at their house is all about every day food that is amazing because it comes from their garden. Oh, the tomatoes! I dislike eating grocery store tomatoes because they just don’t come close.

Quilting is something she enjoys and excels at doing. Her stitching is perfect and if you didn’t know better you might think it was machine done. I’ve admired her quilts for years and knew that if I asked her she would make one for me, but didn’t want to burden her. A few years ago when I visited she brought out a quilt and gave it to me. She said she had to make it for me because as my godmother she never gave me anything. That, of course, isn’t true because I remember birthday cards and other gifts through the years. She made it just for me and it is beautiful, all creamy white with scalloped edges and hearts and daisies quilted on it.

One of my favorite memories will always be from my visit in 2008. The last day I was there I had the whole day free and that afternoon went down to the farm house. Grandma and Grandpa were watching TV and she was peeling and quartering apples to freeze for pies. I sat next to her that afternoon and helped her until my fingers hurt from holding the paring knife and were stained from the apples. It was a priceless afternoon.

I’ve said it before and it is said with sincerity, I am proud to be part of this family. Grandma is definitely one of my favorite people in the whole world. My heart aches for her today as she remembers the years she and Grandpa shared. I pray that the happy memories of so many years will comfort her.

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