Today, we remembered my wonderful grandmother who left the world for a better place on Wednesday night. We were so blessed to have her as a grandmother. She was the portrait of love. She and my grandfather shared a wonderful marriage of nearly 58 years after knowing each other a short 10 weeks! They eloped! Their marriage stayed strong, and they were truly best friends. I spoke at her service today, and this is what I shared...
My grandmother was an amazing woman.
She and Ray-Ray love their grandkids so much. When we were little, they let us stay with them overnight when our parents were out of town, and took us to ride the train, or on little hikes in the mountains. We would meet halfway at a McDonald's. One time we were meeting halfway for my older sister to go spend a couple nights with them, and when it was time to go, I hopped into Effie and Ray-Ray's car and buckled my seatbelt. They told my mom it was okay and I borrowed my sister's clothes while we were there.
Effie used to tell me the story of one time when we were walking around the mountains. I was holding her hand, and she and I heard singing. We were curious as to where it was coming from, so we walked toward the singing, and there was a lake. One man was dunking people into the lake and bringing them back up. I asked Effie, "What are they doing?" She said, "They are getting baptized." I replied, "I never want to get baptized!"
Another time when I was staying with them, I remember sitting in the floor of their kitchen with my "Katie" doll. Effie was refusing to give me something that I wanted, and I told her she was as mean as a snake. I remember her laughing at me and me getting mad at her laughing. She liked to refer to that story whenever I visited when I was older.
She was always very active, and even in her 60s and 70s, she would wake up in the mornings and go down to her basement to exercise! When I was in college, trying to lose weight, she let me have one of her resistance bands, and I let her have one of my work-out videos that I had finished using. Not many people can say that they used exercise tips from their grandmother!
She also loved to play golf with my grandfather and their friends. On my birthday one year, she called to tell me happy birthday, but also to say that she had just got a hole-in-one!
Over the past few years, I have been blessed to live only an hour or so away from my grandparents. I love to bring my son and daughter to visit. Effie loved to hold her great-grandkids, and she could always get my son (who wasn't the happiest of babies) to smile and laugh. During my pregnancies, I would call Effie to get advice because I knew she had lots of experience through being a nurse and having four children of her own. She was obviously a wonderful mother, and a terrific grandmother... even if she laughed at you when you were hurt.
Isn't it mean to laugh at someone when they are hurt? Well, that was one thing Effie did and that rubbed off onto my mom. When my mom fell off her bike and busted her teeth and mouth, she said the first thing Effie did when she saw her was laugh. So when my mom laughed at me after falling or getting hurt, I would get so mad and ask her why she was laughing. She would tell that story about Effie and say, "I guess we are just so glad to know that you aren't hurt severely...that everything is going to be okay... so we laugh instead of get mad." While the laugh would surely be followed with a hug and words of comfort, this story is so true today. While right now, it's okay for us to cry and miss our grandmother...our mother, sister, wife and best friend, Effie is in heaven probably smiling and laughing right now.
I truly hope that I stay as active as my grandmother did, and that my marriage is as wonderful and genuine as hers was to my grandfather. She will be greatly missed.