To My Grams

Yesterday afternoon, August 22, 2013, my Grams went home after a long hard battle with health. She got really really sick just a few days before I graduated high school and I don't think she was every really "better" after that. I'm glad she's not hurting anymore, but all the family left here is still hurting.

I was crying on the bus yesterday, when I found out. It was nice to remember the happy memories and laugh, but it'd slowly fade to tears again. I cried myself to sleep on the bus and when I woke up I think I was done crying. Joe came to get me and
I shared the memories I remembered with him, and now I think I'll share them with you. 

I remember when she'd take me to the fabric store to pick out the world's ugliest fabric, but I thought it was pretty. So colorful and bold. And she'd take me back home and we'd sew pants or dresses or skirts out of it, and I wore them proudly, and Grams didn't say a word, never told me how ridiculous I looked. We'd spend so much time looking at patterns to get ideas for what we'd make next. 

Grams' name is Bonnie Jean Banks Maurer. I was so proud to have her middle name too. I didn't always like the sound of "Jean" but even when I didn't like it, I liked knowing that it was a family name.

Sometimes people would tell me, when I was very young, that I kinda looked like Grams did when she was little, and I held that as the highest compliment. I thought Grams, besides my mom, was one of the most beautiful women alive. 

Her eyes were wrinkled with kindness. She taught me about giving. She gave and gave and gave until giving hurt her, and then she still gave. 

One time, August, about, Grams was shopping with my mom and I. Becca and Brian too, I think. And I remarked that I wished it was Winter time, because I wanted to listen to Christmas music. Grams told me that was dumb, I could listen to Christmas music whenever I wanted. So that day, I went home, into my room, and taped paper snowflakes on the walls and windows and listened to Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby until dinner time. 

Speaking of Christmas...

I remember the villages Grams would make under the tree. Little houses, all painted by hand. They were so delicate and lovely, and to see them all set up... That was Christmas. It was magical. And the brown paper bag wrapped presents under the tree. 

Brown paper bags don't make the most gorgeous of wrapping paper... but those presents were magical too. That's mostly why I love to use the paper bag wrapping paper these days. Grams would spend weeks making presents for her grandkids: Blankets, pillow case dolls... 

And now some words on love. I used to love the movie Up because it reminded me of my Grams and Grandpop. And then I realized, when I grew older, that Grams and Grandpop loved each other far more than any cartoon... There was a time when I didn't believe in love, but I believed that they loved each other, even then. 

Grandpop did a whole lot more than fly a house around the world for the woman he loved. He carried her in her wheelchair up and down the stairs of my house every Thanksgiving. He'd help her when her hands were shaking too much to do anything. He waited on her, hand and foot, to make sure she was comfortable, to make sure she was happy, and he never asked anything in return. She was his sweetheart, and he was hers. And they still are. They really truly exemplified selfless love, unconditional love. For over 50 years they've been married, and I know they're still married now, even though she's gone, and some day they'll be together again, forever. 

I miss my Grams. I don't think there were enough memories to make up for the hole she left. But I'm so grateful for every one. For the Christmas music. For her coming to my wedding. For being able to be there when she was sealed to her parents. Every single memory feels like a special token being placed into a little purse, something I'm going to be holding to desperately for the next little while.

But I know she's happy now. And I know she's with me when I cry, with my mom and my mom's brothers and sisters, and I know she'll always be with my Grandpop. And right now, she's in a better place, with the family that missed her on the other side. 

She was a lovely lady. She left behind a lovely legacy that changed the world. She'll be missed forever, but more than that, she'll be loved forever. 

I guess I wasn't done crying yet. 

1 comment:

Nicole P. said...

This is beautiful. My grandma is expected to pass away in the next 7-10 days and I'm struggling. This reminded me of how lucky we are to have the gospel.