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.

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