Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dear Sweet Granny

Your memorial service was today.  We had it at the church and it was absolutely packed.  Ole VHBC hadn't seen that big of a crowd in years! A LOT of people loved you.  Petal Pushers did beautiful yellow and white flowers for the alter and the music was lovely - Peggy helped pick it out and Bobby sang The Lord's Prayer.  Nelson called you a "Phoebe" after the woman Paul wrote about in Corinthians as a "servant of the church" and "helper to many."  He couldn't have been more right on.  Uncle David also spoke and shared some funny stories about you.  You would have loved it.  The whole thing was a little surreal; but we tried not to be sad, because we know that's not what you would have wanted.  Kathryn and I both wore blue instead of black, and I wore extra jewelry and blush - just for you! :)

Afterward, we had a nice reception at Rockfish.  It was just the way you would have wanted it.  We even had crab cakes - your favorite!!  People drank wine and we reminisced.  Everyone keeps talking about your contentment (even in the face of cancer), your generosity, your smile, and your chicken salad.  (You know I've been practicing that recipe for a while... I promise, I'll master it.) It was nice.  I wish you could have been there, but I know you saw it.   Poor Poppy is tired from all the "entertaining" he's done the last few days... that's usually your job and he is lost without you!  But he did a good job... He hugged everyone and (secretly) enjoyed all the attention.
Buckingham Palace - London (November 2004)
Everything about these last few days has reminded us of you and your sweet spirit.  Uncle David and I talked yesterday about how even in your death you wanted to accommodate everyone - my work schedule, Aunt Phyllis' travels, etc.  You waited for us all to be by your side, and then you went... with dignity and grace.  This is so typical of you.  Always put together and beautiful, always looking out for what would be most convenient and comfortable for others. I know you are celebrating in heaven now... with Glenna and your mom and sisters.  I hope you are eating good food and wearing beautiful clothes.  I have no doubt that you are talking to everyone and making millions of friends.

It has been hard.  But, we aren't sad for you, because we know you were ready and you are finally out of pain... But, we are sad for us because we will miss you so much.  Poppy especially keeps saying how much he misses you, and how much he wished he been nicer and done more for you. I know you know this, but he really loved you.  He's having a harder time than we thought he would, but it just shows how much he valued you and your 61 years together.  I've already promised to help him with the Jumble and make sure he doesn't only eat fast food now.  (Don't worry, the church ladies and neighbors have made sure he has enough ham biscuits, pound cakes, and frozen meals to last him years!)

Clemson Graduation (December 2005)
Oh Granny, there are so many things to say and remember about you.  Mostly, I am just so thankful that you were such a HUGE part of my life.  I know not everyone gets to experience that kind of relationship with their grandparents.  Most of my earliest and favorite memories involve you... Just today Jeff and I were laughing about when you and "the crows" came to visit us in London.  Remember, I put you on a bus tour and told you NOT to get off.  Thirty minutes later, you called and said... "Elizabeth, we got off." You hadn't seen a bit of London, but you were happy as clams.  All you really wanted was to go shopping and have "tea."  :)

I will think of you every time I put curlers in my hair or eat brown beans (one of my favorites).  I will always cherish our beach vacations together, our Monday night dinners, and Sunday grilled cheese. I will not forget to cover my childrens' heads when we go out in the cold, and I will gargle with salt water when my throat is sore. 

Bridal Luncheon (June 2007)
On Sunday, before you went, I held your warm hands on my belly and told you to go ahead... that I wanted you to look over our little baby for the next four months.  I've thought about this SO much the last four days. I know you are doing it, and it brings me so much peace. I can't think of anyone I would trust more...

As I am preparing to become a mom myself, I know now more than ever how important the grandmother role is in a young life.  SO much of who I am has been shaped by your faith and your kind spirit  But, my mom is ready to take over... I have no doubt; after all, she's learned from the best.

So, rest, sweet Granny. We love you and miss you!

13 comments:

  1. what a beautiful tribute to your grandma. i dont even know you, or her, but it made me smile and brought tears to my eyes. great grandmas are such a blessing to have - and it sounds like you were really lucky =)

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  2. So sorry for your loss. It sounds like she was a sensational woman.

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  3. Oh Elizabeth! What a beautiful, heartfelt letter...I cried so much while reading it that I had to stop several times and just breathe (lol).
    You said everything perfect and I love your words. Your Granny was amazing and I do know she will always be a part of your life and you continue on w/o her. Your mothering days ahead will be sprinkled with little moments that remind you of Granny and special times together. I know they will be cherished memories. I love you and your family so much. Thank you for being the wonderful woman that you are and for caring so deeply. Our big chill girls are certainly amazing. We RU gals must have done at least a few things right! Teresa :)

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  4. I am just slow and electronically challenged! I didnt mean to be anonymous for heaven's sake...I also meant to say ....be a part of your life as you continue on...
    so sorry that I am anonymous even though I sign my name ....hehe...laughing is better than crying

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  5. This was a beautiful post, darlin - I am so sorry to hear about your granny, but this was a gorgeous tribute to the relationship you shared. My thoughts are with you...

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  6. Elizabeth, that was so beautiful and sweet! It brought tears and smiles. I'm so sorry for your lose and will be praying for you and your family.

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  7. So My mom called sniffeling asking me how to post a comment, love her. She said don't read it, you'll just start boo hooing...Of course I had to read your post right away, and how sweet it was. Your love and relationship with Granny was just like my relationship with Omi and that's why I always felt so good around Granny and Poppy when I'd come to visit. When you think of a grandparnet, you couldn't ask for anything more than them. You guys have been on my mind all week, I hope your heavy heart is being lifted by that sweet baby growing :) Love yall

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  8. That is the most touching thing I've ever read. How wonderful that you shared it with all of us!

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  9. Wow what an amazing testomy to your grandmother, this brough tears to my eyes.
    I am so sorry for your loss, and will pray for you and your family (especially your grandfather) during this time.
    I'm a new follower of our blog and just love it!

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  10. I know that was a very personal post, but it was just gorgeous. I'm sitting here at my desk wiping tears from my cheeks. Thank you for sharing!

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  11. What a beautiful post you wrote - it brought tears to my eyes. Continued thoughts and prayers with your family in the days ahead.

    "Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy. "

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  12. I'm glad you have such great memories of your Granny. What a lovely post you have written about her.

    Thinking of you and your family.

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  13. wow. crying. touched.

    this heartfelt tribute is beautiful. just beautiful.

    lifting you all up to the throne of grace and love today and for the days of adjustment to come. love.

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