Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Grandma of a kind

I got back from my trip home for my Grandma Ann's funeral on Monday and just wanted to share a few pictures and experiences. Oh and just a heads up, this is kind of a long post but like a lot of you, I use this as a journal as well as a blog.

So first off, it was good to be there for my dad and support him through this rough time. I can't even begin to think about losing my parents so I know this was tough on him. He did great though and came out even stronger I think.
My Dad and niece Mckayla

The funeral was perfect. Exactly what my Grandma would have wanted. There were so many fun stories and moments of joy and laughter that outnumbered the moments of sorrow. Again, exactly what Grandma would have wanted. She was definitely there with us and always will be. One such funny story is that she came from a family of 5 girls and turned around and had 5 boys (see the picture above). Well the day she passed, my dad and uncles were at the mortuary and the funeral director said, "Wow, 5 boys, how did she ever survive that?" My Uncle Steven said, "Well she did just fine until today." I can just see my Grandma cracking up about that!

For a funeral, this was really an enriching experience. I got to help my mom and aunt dress my Grandma for the funeral and it was a very spiritual and tender time. Although it didn't look like her (because she was missing her best part- her spirit), it was a privilege to dress her in her prettiest gown. Funny story though, we weren't able to zip up the back and I told my mom that Grandma is going to be so mad when her dress falls off in the Resurrection :)

I was able to put together a table with a bunch of photos of my Grandma and family. It was fun to go through pictures we found and find nice frames for them. The lady at the checkout register looked at me pretty funny when I bought 10+ frames at a time though.
One very significant story to our family is this. My dad owned a pet store before I was born and 35 years ago gave my grandparents an African Macaw parrot named Bozo. They live to be 80 years old sometimes. Anyway, it only liked my Grandma and sometimes my Grandpa and Dad but whenever anyone else was in the house it squawked and squawked. So the morning that my Grandma died there were obviously a lot of people in the house and they noticed the bird didn't make a sound. Well the bishop's wife went to check my cousin's baby she heard crying that she had put down for a nap but saw that the baby was still sleeping. Come to find out, they looked around and it was the bird crying. Crying just like a baby :( The next day the bird started getting sick and the next evening he passed away. I think he had a broken heart without my Grandma and knew that she was gone (for now). The bishop pointed out that we are all God's creatures and some have thinner veils than others. Cool story huh?

Just another quick story but today when I was grocery shopping, I noticed bunches of flowers on display that caught my eye. Turns out they were some of my Grandma's favorite and the same ones that my cousins and I placed on her casket Saturday. Of course I got a little teary and had to buy 1 of every color! It helps me to know that my Grandma is still with us, even at Kroger :)

I have been so blessed to have extrordinary grandparents and will miss my Grandma terribly but know that we will meet again. The hardest part to me has been that I wanted so bad for her to see my babies. I'm confident though that she is rocking, cuddling, and singing to them right now, preparing them for Ryan and me and this life. The picture below is of my niece just a few months ago but to me it has a heavenly glow and it is exactly what I see my sweet Grandma doing right now. Love you Grandma, take care of my little ones until they're ready for me!


Leslie said...

Sis THAT was a great tribute. I think you summed everything up really well and had some great pictures. Glad you made it home safe

Melisa said...

What a sweet and thoughtful post. I love the heartfelt and personal stories.

Jason, Elisa, and Connor said...

Steph, Sorry to hear about your Grandma. Hope you are doing ok. I realy liked the story about the her bird.

Kit...Nat...Broox... said...

Sweet tribute to your Grandma, who you can tell you love dearly. It's never easy to lose a loved one. We are so blessed to have the knowledge and hope of the gospel. I love the story about her dress falling off during the Resurrection! Stay strong. :)

The WJ Farm said...

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Reid and Megan said...

So sorry for your loss. I hope you're doing ok!

Jason & Kelli West said...

I'm glad your Grandmas funeral went well. I loved the stories you wrote about her in your blog. She sounds like she would be the type of Grandma that would love everyone! I'm glad your home safe and doing well! love ya!

Chas and Ashly Johnson Family said...

Sorry about your Grandma. Those are hard days! I am sure she is in heaven with your little ones.