Thursday, March 3, 2011

Heaven Gained a Beautiful Angel

Last Friday, Heaven gained a very special angel, my grandma. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June, at the time she was given 3-6 months, but being the strong person she is, she stayed with us for 8 months. Even though we knew what the end result was, it was devastating when I got the call on Friday that she took her place in Heaven. My brother and I flew out to Phoenix on Sunday night for the memorial service on Monday.

It was a beautiful service for a beautiful person. It was so hard to see my grandpa, they had been married for 63 years, she is the love of his life and vice versa. At the ceremony, I prepared a speech, but got too choked up to really say all the things I wanted to say, so I am going to give my speech here, since it's easier to type than say.

I grew up knowing and loving an amazing grandma. As a child they lived on a ranch in Colorado which was always so much fun to visit with all the animals. But the best part was that grandma worked at the Russell Stover's candy factory and her house was always filled with it. In the evenings, she would make us homemade ice cream. My grandma loved sweets, I often that is why she was so sweet, because sugar is what she pretty much lived off of.

We always had so much fun with my grandparents. They loved to travel. We took trips to Disney World, Mexico, California. My grandma loved the beach. She loved to sit on the shoreline and dip her feet in the water. She could sit there all day with a cold beer. Her laughter was memorizing and contagious. Her smile always made you want to smile.

I am very blessed to have spent 31 years with my grandma. She has been there for all my major moments in life, high school and college graduation, wedding, and Katherine's birth she stayed a month just to soak up as much as she could of her. Katherine and my grandma have a very special bond. I have not told Katherine yet, as it is going to break my heart to do so. My grandma was a rock for me while Colin was in the hospital.

As I became older, I realized she was just not my grandma, but my friend. I could always go to her with exciting and sad news. She was always there to listen. I often called her on my way home from work just to chat, catch up on the kids, and to get the family gossip.My grandma loved sending panties for Christmas, as I kid I thought it was strange, but now I am going to miss that.

I am going to miss her so much. But we are going to keep her spirit alive by leading the life she set for us as an example. She was a kind, caring, loving, patient, strong, silly, active, amazing person. She taught us all so much about love. Life, and family.

That's what I had planned to say at her service, I think I only got 4 sentences out before I broke down in sobbing tears. It's hard to say goodbye to someone you love so much. My cousin sang such a beautiful rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow and she also did a great job of making a slideshow of my grandma's life. It was hard to see the last pictures while she was sick, but I am so glad we got to spend time with her this past year. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

Last night during story time, Katherine asked Matt when are we going to Phoenix again to see Granny. I am going to tell her this weekend that she has an amazing guardian angel watching over her and Colin. I know that my kids will be safe, with grandma watching over them. We will keep her memory alive.

I have more to tell about my trip, but will save that for another post. I just wanted to use this one to tell everyone how much I love my grandma and always will.
Katherine and my grandparents at 7 months old

Katherine and my grandparents 2 years oldThe beautiful blanket my cousin made for my grandma. It has all the great grandkids. They used this to comfort my grandma while she was sick. They protected her even in her last couple of days.
The whole family Feb. 2010Grandma and Colin
Katherine loves Granny so much.

Slideshow from service - What a blessed life

1 comment:

sunshine said...

Jennifer, that was a beautiful post that brought tears to my soul ( not to mention the tears that literally fell). You said it best...let's take the qualities that were so endearing, so special and live them with our actions. I see mom everyday, the beauty of the world reminds me of her grace...the sunshine, a breeze, a waterfall, the clouds drifting by...