Celebrating the Life of a Very Worthy Woman

“Death is not extinguishing the light from the Christian; it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.”
– Author Unknown

It has been almost 5 years since my Grandma passed away. In some ways it feels like 5 whole, long years, but in other ways it feels like just yesterday. As most people who have lost a loved one know, you never stop thinking about that person; they are never less important to you. Time doesn’t necessarily heal your pain or make you miss them any less, it just teaches you how to cope in their daily absence.

Today would have been my Grandma’s birthday.

And even though I think about her all the time, I want to share her today.

Because she is a person worth celebrating.

Grandpa and Grandma.

My Grandma was the best cook. And the best baker. Anything her hands touched turned into pure magic in the kitchen. She made the best carrot cake and the best sugar pie at Christmas time (or any pie for that matter), and oh those holiday magic bars. Every time I stayed with her, I remember picking fresh vegetables out of her garden and then putting them into our tuna sandwich for lunch or our spaghetti for dinner. It was always her joy to make sure you were fed…and fed well. And just when dinner couldn’t have gotten any better, she’d bring out dessert. Fresh Chocolate Chip cookies, Pinwheel Cookies…you name it… and we’d always have our dessert with a cup of black coffee. I never really liked black coffee, but I wanted it so bad while I was at Grandma’s house because that’s what they would drink. And because they’d let me have it. haha

Truth be known, my cooking aspirations and baking endeavors are fueled by the memories I have of my Grandma in the kitchen. I have photo-copied many of her recipes (which my mom has) because hand-copying them wouldn’t be the same. It is such a treat to see her handwriting while baking her recipe; it is like she is right there with you…guiding you with love. Because cooking is one of the ways she showed love the most. I can only hope my children and grandchildren will have such memories through my cooking for them. I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything.

Equal to her gift in the kitchen, Grandma could knit and crochet like nobody’s business. She was always making afghans and sweaters, many of which we’d get as gifts for Christmas. I treasure those gifts so much now. I was about 7 years old when she first taught me how to crochet. She helped me get it started and every time she came over, I would pull it out and work on it some. I can always remember crocheting through fall and winter, when the weather was cold or raining… we’d sit on the couch with our crocheted afghan project covering us like a blanket. It was so warm and cozy. I really only worked on my afghan when she came over to visit…and I finished it a little after my 18th birthday. That is one of my fondest memories I have because every time I see my purple afghan, I am reminded of all of the days I spent working on it together with her.

Grandma was always so affectionate. She loved to cuddle up with you on the couch, she was always giving you a hug or rubbing your back. She had the softest hands of anyone you’d ever meet. Every now and then my mom or sisters and I will reminisce about her hands. Always pretty and painted nails and always so unbelievably soft. I wish I had asked her secret about that… but I’m sure it was just a little moisturizer and a whole lot of good skin.

Every time I eat raisin toast, I think of her.

Every time I hear someone say War-shington or I am going to go War-sh the dishes, I think of her.

I dream about her often and only once in a while will she look how I remember her. In most of my dreams, she is a version of herself that I never knew… maybe 25 years old. I recognize her from old pictures, however, that is the way she appears in most of my dreams… Young. Healthy. Happy. Beautiful.

I was so excited to be able to do a “vintage” photo shoot in your wedding dress. I was stunned at how similar our dresses were! Besides the length and the sash I added to mine and minus the lace jacket on hers, they were almost identical! Same sweetheart neckline, same lace, even the same antique off-white color.

Oh, how I wish my Grandma could have been at my wedding and my shower… and more than any of that, I wish she could have met Jon. I know she would have loved him. (I met Jon a month after she passed away) And I wish I could tell her all about Layla. One day, I will.

Grandma was the epitome of what it means to be giving. She was always so concerned about everyone else; she never wanted anyone to “fuss” about her. She was happy when everyone else was happy.

Grandma with my Mom.

I am so thankful that God gave me her as a Grandma. There is an abundance of lessons to learn from her… but the most valuable is that people may not always remember everything you did or said, the things you loved or disliked… but people will never, ever forget the way you made them feel. And my Grandma made you feel loved, special, cared for, happy and important. She was kind, genuine, loyal, giving and joyful. She was such a blessing in my life, such a wonderful role model as a wife, mother and woman. Yes, Grandma is definitely is a woman worthy of celebration.

I will always think of her when I hear this song…

Happy Birthday, Grandma!

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