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a life celebration

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my grandma and I on her last birthday, August 16th 2009.

I wanted to title this post “a life celebration” because this isn’t meant to be sad or make you (mostly me) cry.  There was a time for that.  And although I wish I could  call my G-ma on the phone and hear her voice right now, I will be oh so happy to look back fondly at the memories I have.  I am so blessed to even have had the opportunity to make memories with such a lovely lady and a role model.

Every summer my Dad would take me and my sister to Southern Illinois to visit my “g-ma”.  We would spend hot humid days at the pool and always come home to a home cooked southern meal.  She never hesitated to give us a huge hug and a pat on the back (even with a sun burn).  She made all of my baby clothes and even a couple of quilts.  She loved to sing at her piano when we visited and we loved to sing along.  She is the woman who taught me how to crochet, sew, play a little on the piano, and to hit my sister back when she was picking on me ;).  She always, to the last visit I saw her, tried to hide the fact that she smoked.  She loved telling the same stories over and over….or maybe she forgot she had told us in the first place, haha.  She always tried to teach us not to judge others, but even she knew that is a tough one for anyone to learn.  Her favorite color was blue, her favorite flower the rose, and man she made the best pies and banana pudding.

Every year when we would visit she would take us to these country gatherings where we would square dance with men old enough to be our grandpa and laugh and enjoy good food.  Everyone loved having us “youngin’s” there to add life to the “party”.  And every sunday morning she would drive us out to her church (which seemed like it was 20 miles down a dirt road in the middle of the corn fields) and we would watch her play the piano for the congregation.  She was such a lovely lady.  I look fondly around my home and see little pieces of her in items that she left me….vintage vases, an old timey (orange plastic) juicer in my kitchen, a beanie she crocheted with a flower on top, an antique jewelry box, an engraved cross necklace my grandpa gave her with the year they got married on the back, and her lovely engagement ring…{and so much more}.  She truly was an inspiration to me and I miss her everyday.

The last couple times we visited her, became more of a realization that there might not be a next time.  She always had a smile on her face when we left…and was so thankful we got to spend another summer with her.  I can’t remember ever specifically going up to see her for her birthday, but the last visit was just that.  We got to spend her birthday with her, the last one, on August 16th 2009.  At the end of that trip, when we were saying our goodbyes, it is like she knew it was the last time we would see each other.  That was the only time I ever saw a tear fall from my grandma’s eye.  It was so hard to let go as she hugged us goodbye and we said our “I love you’s”.  I can’t think of a better last visit though, then to spend it celebrating her life…she was 87 and still had that twinkle in her eye.

It has been three years since she has left this earth and gone home to heaven, but she is always in my heart.  So I look back today and celebrate the life she had and the love she demonstrated to others.  Love you G-ma, my guardian angel.

xo,

Ambie

august 16th, 1922- september 7th, 2009

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