Thursday, October 22, 2009

In Loving Memory...

Two weeks ago our family suffered a great loss. WB's grandmother passed away. She was 94 years old and up until a few weeks ago in very good health. We are so thankful that in the end she passed peacefully, had her three children with her, and was able to converse with them.

With our sadness comes great joy in knowing this woman, Mary Catherine or Mary C. as she was called by friends. Mom, Grandmommy, and Great-Gram by others. I could tell you she was a wonderful knitter, needlepointer, huge Dallas Cowboy fan, faithful follower of our Lord, wife, mother, sister and the list goes on and on. But I'd like to tell you what she taught me in particular.

I first met Grandmommy over 16 years ago when WB and I stopped by her house before a date. She and her husband lived in the same house they had lived in for over 40 years. As I met them at the door I couldn't help but smile at the very petite woman with the big brown eyes who stood beside her towering husband. Later I would be told she was the tallest of her sisters, hard to believe. But although small in size her heart and personality were enormous.

Being only a couple of hours away from where we went to college, and later just an hour from where we would live, I enjoyed many afternoons and evenings at their house. Grandmommy always had a warm meal and even a warm bed ready for me whenever I needed it. Being so far away from my own family I treasured the home-cooked meals and the afternoons spent watching football with her. She always muted the commercials, "Nonsense", she would say. Instead she preferred to spend the commercials chatting or sitting quietly as she needlepointed in her chair.

I watched as she buried her husband. Family crowding around to offer her support, yet it seemed as if she was really the pillar for everyone else. Her no-nonsense attitude combined with her strong faith saw her through the difficult times. I went into labor with my oldest child while visiting at her house. I felt overwhelmed, but she just nodded and said "Everything will be alright" which showered me with a sense of calmness.

There are so many stories to tell about this neat lady. She and her husband walked the floors of the hospital where they had volunteered for many, many years with a book cart. Granddaddy was 92 with braces on both legs as they both went room to room asking patients if they'd like a book or magazine to read from their cart. She made knitted blankets, caps, and slippers for a local charity every Christmas. She supported her church with whatever Father asked of her. She truly had a giving spirit.

But the one thing I will never forget is the way she taught me to pray. She was often given prayer intentions for it seemed she had a direct line to Heaven. One time when she was asked to pray for a particular thing she chuckled. "Well," she said, "I'm not in the business of telling God what to do, but rather I'll ask him to watch over you and guide you and to give you wisdom." So now whenever I pray I remember that. I don't tell God what to do but rather ask for His strength and guidance and that His will be done. It was a very powerful lesson she taught me that day.

You will be greatly missed Grandmommy, but I have no doubt you are resting in a most beautiful place. Godspeed!


Janna Qualman said...

What a wonderful woman! And such a beautiful tribute.

Jennifer Shirk said...

That is beautiful. She sounds like a special woman who is now in a special place.
God bless.

Jessica said...

That's a lovely tribute Kara. She sounds like a wise and wonderful woman. :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh Kara,
You certainly knew the same woman I called Aunt Mary C. What a wonderful tribute. If you were at my Uncle Newt's funeral, I have probably met you!
They were both amazingly wonderful people and I miss them.
My dad says something similar on the praying part that she taught you. I think it may have come from their mother. She too was an amazing woman.
I love that picture you posted.
Cathy V

Terri Tiffany said...

She sounds like she was a special wonderful woman. That was a great tribute! I know Pat is so nice, that her mother probably was the same:)

Jody Hedlund said...

What a wonderful gift she gave you in teaching you how to pray! That's so awesome!

Jill Kemerer said...

What a blessing to have such a warm relationship with her. I'm sorry for your loss.

Kara said...

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers. It's very healing to share some of my memories of her with you all:)

Pat's Place said...

Ahhhh, Kara, that made me cry this morning of her burial. Thank you so much for the tribute to her!