And she didn’t make the rules.
Well, she did. She just didn’t realize that she did.
A year ago today one of the most amazing individuals I ever had the privilege of knowing went home to be with her Savior, Father, Comforter and King. My great-grandmother lived out the words “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21) like no one else I know.
Gramma B had an amazing sense of humor and was always the first to throw out a silly story or comment. Once while we were eating spaghetti, my little brother asked why we use utensils. My gramma replied, “I wonder that myself sometimes…wouldn’t it be easier if we all just ate like dogs!?” And she meant it. When relaying her thoughts on something she would often say, “So I said to myself, ‘self’.” She was a night owl to the end, even at 96 she wasn’t happy to go to bed before 11! She once told us, “I heard it builds character to do two things a day that you don’t want to do. So every morning I get up and every night I go to bed!”
She was incredibly meticulous. Her cabinets were like a museum and she never had a trash can in the kitchen. Once my mother asked why she had placed something a certain way in the refrigerator and she replied, “Well, that’s the rule. I don’t make the rules.” I often catch myself doing these sorts of things, I don’t make the rules. She insisted on mowing her own lawn until she was into her 90s and lived independently to the end. Once she told us that the lady next door was going to start having someone start helping her out with daily activities and she said, “but she really is getting older, she’s 82!” We reminded Gramma that she was 94. Obviously age did not apply to her. She was upset when they wouldn’t renew her license because she could no longer pass the eye test. Even when her age started catching up with her she didn’t dwell on it. She had Parkinson’s but said she couldn’t remember the name so she called it her “Frankenstein’s disease.”
My dad said when she was younger she was even funnier and sillier. He told me about how they would go out for lunch sometimes and pretend throughout the entire meal that they had just met. When he was younger and upset with his parents he would run away to her house. That’s definitely where I would go.
Gramma B is my faith role model. She radiated peace and joy that only comes from knowing Christ on a beautiful personal level. She lived through 2 world wars and the depression, yet never lost her trust in the Lord. (She told me about how when she was a kid they would get 3 or 4 small pieces of candy for Christ-mas and it would last them until April. To entertain themselves they would find coal along the tracks that had fallen off the trains and make up games.) One of the last times I got to see her she was going through the Bible with a commentary of the original Hebrew words used. She never stopped learning, never stopped searching. At one point, when her health was poor, she said that the only reason she wanted to continue living rather than just go Home was in order to continue to pray for her family. She said there were so many people she prayed for and she didn’t know who would do it when she was gone. She had a few difficult bouts with her health, I think she was just too stubborn to let go, she wanted to reach 100. I thought she would.
My family gave her a book several years ago that gave questions and prompts to write about her life. She spent several years working on it and it is cherished by us. People have asked if it is possible to copy it so that each family can have one. She touched so many. She wrote beautiful poems; some serious, some silly. Ask anyone in my family about Trippity Tromp and they will be happy to rattle off the funny light-hearted poem.
I have a ring that she used to wear. It doesn’t fit my finger, but I wear it every day on a chain around my neck. It reminds me of her and often brings a smile, sometimes brings a tear. My mom often tells me that I am like her in a lot of ways, I consider that an honor. When I grow up, I wanna be my Gramma B.
She said it best,
“Tears do not mock, but wash away,
The sorrow that you feel today.”
We love you and miss you. Glad you are Home.