Tuesday, June 21, 2011

G'Ma

On June 16, my sweet and wonderful grandma passed from this temporary existence to forever walk with her Savior in eternity.  She now sees Jesus face to face, and I'm forever grateful for the peace and assurance, as fellow believers, that those we love are now in Heaven where we will all meet again soon.  But saying goodbye is still very difficult.  And knowing that there will be no more Scrabble games at her kitchen table, homemade sugar cookies warm from her oven, and phone calls to check up on "her boys" truly breaks my heart. 

And more than anything, I so wanted her to meet her great-grand-daughter this fall.  To kiss her cheeks and play with her little toes.  To watch her grow and follow in the footsteps of her Mama, Marmie, and G.G.  To take her place in the growing line of incredible woman in this family, to teach her all the wonderful things I learned growing up.  But even though our little girl will never get to meet her great-grandma in this world, she will at least be able to share in the memories, and name, of this amazing woman. 

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Photography by David Miller
Yes, we've decided to name our newest little one "Julia Katherine."  "Katherine" after my grandma, who had been hinting (strongly) that she needed a namesake and who had been so, sooo excited to find out we were having a girl.  With our boys we never really settled, or at least announced, their full names until birth.  Partly because of my indecisive, non-committal personality and partly because there was always that chance that they could've ended up being a girl (or boy).  But this time around we knew we wanted to tell our family the name we chose right away.  And I'm so glad we did.  G'Ma was so proud, she told everyone she met she was expecting a great-grand-daughter named Julia KATHERINE and even wrote the name on the special white board by her back door.  The white board that used to be reserved for holidays and family birthdays but which, for the past 3 years, has been overtaken by the birth announcements of her great-grandkids.  "Jack Lawrence, 10/12/08", Jude Edward "4/20/10", and "Julia Katherine, arriving 10/__/11."  Someday I hope my daughter understands the significance of her middle name.

My grandma was fun, really fun.  She liked to bake and make crafts, play games and sing, work in the garden and take me shopping at the mall.  When I was little she'd patiently answer all my questions and never complained that the stack of books I brought to bed was "too big."  She loved organizing family reunions at the cabin and joining us for vacations at the beach.  Up until a few years ago you could even find her participating in a game of sand volleyball.  And she was competitive, she didn't like to lose.  But she also didn't like to see others fall behind.  So when I was struggling to stay in a game of Monopoly, when I was about to go bankrupt yet again, she started kicking me under the table to let me know when someone had landed on one of my properties.  She never gave up, and she always encouraged others to stay in the game as well.  Which is probably why she's been asking me for the past 6 months if her youngest great-grandson has started walking.  She was very concerned that Jude would quickly learn to keep up with his brother.  Well, if she was spying on her funeral from heaven on Monday (and something tells me she probably was), I hope she saw our little Jude-bug stumbling down the aisles, all on his own.  Because just this past weekend he has officially become a walker.  It just took a little "encouragement."

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And maybe that's how she got the nickname "Push" when she was a little girl.  A nickname that stuck for the rest of her life, especially when others started suggesting my Pappy get her a license plate that said:  "PUSH N ED."  She usually had an opinion, and she usually let it be known.  Like how she'd hint over and over again, back when I still wasn't sure of Jon myself, that the boy I kept bringing over for visits was "quite a hunk!"  And while one of the first things she said to me when I last visited her in the hospital was "Is Jude walking yet?", one of the last things she said to me was "I like it when you wear your hair down."  She said that to me a lot over the past few years, just in case I forgot.  Which is why I was very careful to wear blue to her funeral and to wear my hair down. Because I know it's what she would have wanted.

But more than the games and the clothes and the famous family sugar cookie recipe, I hope my daughter understands her great-grandmother's legacy.  I hope she realizes that she's been named after not only a devoted wife, mother and grandmother, but also a faithful Christian, who took her personal relationship with God seriously.  Who walked out her faith on a daily basis.  And who believed in and lived out the power of prayer.  My brother was able to pray with her the night before she died, and even in her last hours she cried out to God, "Use me Lord!"  And God has answered her prayer.  Because I know many people were touched by the life she lived, and many more have been touched by her legacy now that she's gone.  And I know that one day my little girl is going to hear all about her wonderful "G.G." and the mighty ways that she was used of God.  But still, until we all meet again, we will miss her very, very much.

6 comments:

Teva Beasley said...

Strangely, this had me in tears, big crocodile tears. What a blessing to have a woman like that in your heritage. You are a great testament to her faithfulness and "pushing". I am inspired once again in my heart to know that being a wife and a mother and hopefully one day grandmother is so so important and wonderful. Thank you for sharing your heart.

JSS said...

So touching and well-said. Very sorry for your loss. I know that you carry her legacy wherever you go.

J9 said...

Thank you ladies!

Cathy Kling said...

What a tribute to your Grandmother! The first thing she said to me when I stopped at the yardsale was, "Do you know I am getting a great granddaughter! And, her name is "Julia Katherine" named after me. At least she knew what you were having and that this lil blessing was going to be a namesake to her! She truly was a woman of God and someone alot of people enjoyed and looked up to.

megan douglass said...

very well written... she was such a lovely lady and truly one of my favorites! could barely get through this without a throat lump. can't wait to meet her namesake!

Charity Mack said...

Beautiful. Julia KATHERINE :) Love it!

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