Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Grandma's Tribute

Grandma's Tribute

              Grandma, Lois Fern McDonald, lived a full life and each of her grandchildren were happy to have experienced a part of it.  She had nine grandchildren; Melissa Schau, Curtis Morehead, Michelle DeCaire, Carrie Longnecker, Crystal Roberts, Susan Hancock. Mahlon Lund, Michael Lund and Lisa Cabezas-Anno.  I feel so honored and blessed to have known her.  I liked to think I resembled her some; we were both petite, had dark hair, blue eyes and lots of freckles.  The truth is, each of us (her grandchildren) are a part of her and are a small piece of her that will live into the future and cherish her memory.


       We all have unique memories of Grandma, it's impossible to sum up 87 years into a few paragraphs.  Often the word "Grandma" was synonymous with the word "Grandpa."  "Let's go to Grandma and Grandpa's house."  These two words went together like peanut butter and jelly, or spaghetti and sauce.  In fact, we were able to see the love and commitment they shared through 60, almost 61 years of marriage.  Those of us who are married know how much love and commitment marriage takes, Grandma and Grandpa modeled that to us.  Curtis said that what stood out to him was the love that Grandma and Grandpa shared, even after all those years.  They were like two kids in love and it was incredibly sweet.

        Memories of her are something we all will cherish as we move through life without her.  Memories of little things she would say, or advice she would give.  Michelle shared a memory of a time when she was working on her tan.  After Michelle finished sunbathing, she walked past Grandma who said; "You'd better be careful Shelly, you'll end up looking like the neighbors!"  She was feisty that's for sure.  Grandma had the cute way of continuing childhood nicknames into our adulthood.  Curtis was always CJ, Michelle was Shelly, Mahlon was always Joe or Joey.
       Other memories we have of her include Diet Dr. Pepper, oh how she loved that soda.  We remember her hair which had to be perfectly curled then was stiff with hairspray.  I remember being fascinated with her hair and touching it in wonder.  She loved doing her hair and Michael remembers her doing her hair with a Bonnet hair dryer she used to have in the living room.  Years ago she was into artificial nails and I remember admiring her dainty hands and her long slender fingers.

            Some of us remember shopping trips where we were enlisted to carry her purse, even though it was super heavy.  One time I looked inside and I was amazed by all the items within it.  A favorite memory of mine involved Ramen noodles.  Grandma fixed me a cup for lunch, I decided I did not like them.  I asked for a tissue and Grandma said yes. (She was watching TV)  I asked for another and another and she kept saying yes.  I was surprised my plan was working so well!  I kept getting tissues, spitting the noodles into them, then I threw them into the kitchen trash.  Then, someone tattled on me, Michael says it was him but he was too young to talk yet.  I believe Grandma figured it out after my continued pleas for tissues. *smile*  I was placed firmly in the corner.  I can still remember the smell of the corner as I spent a fair amount of time there.  We remember hugs, lipstick kisses that smelled like butterscotch candy, going out to eat when she was well, long talks, new coloring books with crayons, lots of pool time with her watching us (that made her so happy to see us having fun in the pool) and being sent outside when she wanted to watch her Soap Operas, thank goodness!
      As we grew older, married and had children of our own, the memories shift to us bringing our children to Grandma and Grandpa's house.  Her face would light up with so much joy when she saw the faces of her great-grandchildren.  Picture after picture shows her love of babies and of her love for her great grandchildren.  Susie remembers her saying "I love you" and when she said that, we all knew she meant it.  It could be said that her family meant everything to her.

     As we contemplate the ending of the making of memories, the ending of a precious life, we think of all she has given us, and of the love we all have of her.  Although her presence will no longer be with us, we all will hold on to the sweet memories we have of her.  We will cherish and honor her memory and tell our children of her.  We will be thankful and grateful to have had Grandma as "our Grandma!"  We love you Grandma.  We will always love you and we will always miss you!

I was honored to be able represent the grandchildren at my grandmothers funeral on Sunday, July 19, 2015.  This was my tribute to her.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I'm Mad, He's Mad...Wait, Who's Mad?

         Sometimes you just have a great day, that almost turns into a BAD day.  Today was our trip to Knoebels.  It's a perfect, family friendly amusement park about an hour and a half from our home.  The morning saw me rising at 6:00am to squeeze in some homework that I've not had a chance to get submitted.  (I'm going to school online with a major in Leadership and Ministry)  The morning was going along famously, I made coffee (first thing-of course!) and sat by the back door and enjoyed the quiet and the chirping of the birds for a few minutes, then it was back to work for me.  Jonathan made a smoothy and the children got ready for the big day.  We all worked together to pack our backpack with water, sunblock, wipes and medicine.  Ahhh, things were shaping up to be perfect.

    We had received free tickets to the park and we were to meet up with other friends from church who had decided to go.  You can't beat free right?  Well, the two other parties were late-no big deal in our book, we just relaxed in the van with our AC and Dunkin Donuts.  But here's what made them late, Route 22/322 was shut down due to a tractor trailer crashing, spilling chickens everywhere and then it burst into flames.  Those poor chickens, they were headed to market and met an untimely death.  Crispy chicken anyone?  The truck driver was ok, but those routes were closed until 1:30pm.  We passed so many cars who were stranded in the heat, miles and miles of people stuck in an unmoving line.  Yup, bad day for chickens and for people.

       We arrived safely at Knoebels and had a blast.  Towards the end of our wonderful day, Jonathan and I had a heated misunderstanding.  Don't you know all married people fight once in awhile?!  Any way, here we were, finishing up our day and come to find out he had spent 30 minutes looking for me while I blissfully took the kids on a couple of rides.  When he finally found me, with the two youngest in tow, I was happliy seated in a bumper car with Jacob (my nephew), eagerly anticipating bumping all the cars I could.  (After the attendant got me unstuck of course.)

        I happily emerged from all my bumping glory only to find a very unhappy husband, who proceeded to tell me how unhappy he was.  He looked for me for 30 minutes and I didn't answer when he asked to use someones phone (I was too busy taking pictures and my phone didn't ring).  I was embarressed and wanted him to quit but we were soon arguing in front of everyone.  Yup, our pastor, yup, my brother, yup, our kids.  I didn't cry though! Ha!  Our Pastor and my brother said an awkward goodbye, I couldn't even look at them as they left.  Jonathan and I continued for a few more minutes, trying to come to terms with each other.

          We soon decided to return home as I had several class assignments due by midnight tonight and we were all tired.  The car ride home was quiet.  Hey, I was sleeping-err studying.  We got home and Jonathan crashed for a nap and I continued to work on my school work.  When he woke up, we were both in our right mind and were able to thoroughly discuss our disagreement.  I will spare you the details.  I will just say this, he made me feel like I did so many times as a child, like I was standing before a cruel judge without being allowed to speak for myself.  I had made him feel left out and like he was missing all the fun, something he also felt as a child.  (Anyone who knows Jonathan will agree that Fun is his middle name)

   Yeah, we have childhood issues, yes we have adult issues but there is no one I'd rather fight with, grow with and love with.  The fighting always draws us closer and so often brings growth and renewed understanding,  We are so thankful for how God has come in and healed our marriage and we are amazed everyday at the love we share.

*This happened after an incredibley stressful and busy week last week, with schooling, piano lessons for the kids, family visits, job stress, a misunderstanding within our church (which still needs prayer), traveling to Henderson to pick up our ship (Uncle Frank made for the kids) which took an entire day Friday and into the wee hours of Saturday morning, my grandmother passing away, and then her funeral on Sunday which was a 3 hour drive from Marysville.  Let's just say we were only home to sleep.  

The Family that Fights together, Stays together-Right?