On 10 August 2006 my grandmother, almost aged 92 years old, passed away. On Thursday 24 August 2006 we traveled to Penticton for her funeral.
I cannot describe or pay tribute to my grandma in words alone, because when I see her in my mind, when I recall who she was, how she was, and how she lived her life, it?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s difficult to relay that in a manner that truly shows who she was. And I am not a very skilled writer. Definitely not enough to show her as she truly was.
My grandmother had many marvelous qualities. She and my grandfather joined the church when they were the parents of one child. Three more followed within the next several years. They moved a lot, they live in Canada and the US, my grandpa had different careers. They served two missions in the southern States. They ended up in the Okanagan in their retirement. My grandpa passed away several years ago. There is also little justice I can do to his memory but at some point I will try that as well, because my grandmother and my grandfather were two of the most remarkable people I have ever been privileged to know. And to think I am their granddaughter!
My grandma was always busy. It was truly rare to see her without something in her hands or not doing some necessary task. She loved to read, and read good books. This she passed on to her children and grandchildren. Grandpa was a reader too. So we got a double dose of it. Grandma was a helper. She was a thoughtful listener; she was a loving grandma and mother. She was a hard worker. She was particular about doing the best job she could. She was a dedicated visiting teacher and dedicated to her callings, whatever they were. This was because she had a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She was faithful to the Lord, and to His church. This was very apparent in how she lived her life. No, of course she wasn?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t perfect, but I think she came awfully close. The most important thing about her is that she always tried her best in everything she did. She remembered all of her children and their spouses, her grandchildren and their spouses and her great grandchildren. Each of her great grandchildren have a personal reminder of her, something we saw displayed in the cultural hall of the church building where her funeral was held Thursday, baby quilts embroidered by hand. My children each have one, a precious reminder of a woman that though they didn?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t know well, they know about, and who they will come to know through my memories and my stories as they grow up. They have a great heritage on all sides, and on her side, they have an honourable heritage.
I have many wonderful memories of my grandma. Someone mentioned, speaking of her, that they had no negative memories of Grandma. I have to admit that I don?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t have any negative memories of her either. I have so many positive ones; memories of her love of good culture, good reading, sharing her love of the gospel, her love for family history, her love for her own heritage (she was half Scottish and half English. She had a great affinity for her Scottish background, something I empathise with greatly).
Grandma loved clowns. Perhaps because she loved to laugh? She loved, so much, her family. All of them. She was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother and she showed this in her actions.
My grandparents had the closest, most loving marriage I ever saw. When I was married, my goal was (and still is) to have a marriage like they had. They loved each other exclusively, were completely faithful and sealed to each other. This was from the beginning. When my grandpa first saw my grandma, he knew he was going to marry her. They didn?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t fight. Certainly they didn?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t agree on every issue, but they never showed any anger or frustration with each other. How can I know this? Well of course I wasn?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t there with them all of the time, but I know how faithful they were to each other through their behaviour towards each other. They were each other?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s best friend. They only saw the best in one another. They never (and I know that everyone who knew them would agree) were disloyal to each other in words or actions. They didn?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t bad mouth one another to another person. When my grandpa died, I know how much grandma missed him, but I also know she knew she would be with him again. I know they are together now.
The night before my grandma died, and I received the phone call that she was failing fast, I knew suddenly that my grandpa was there waiting to take her home. It gave me pause and touched me. I know that he has been waiting for her, and in my own sorrow at missing her and knowing that no more will I receive a letter in her lovely, precise handwriting, nor be able to chat with her on the phone, nor send her pictures, nor tell her I love her, I know that she is happy and at peace, that finally they are together again, my grandparents, as they are supposed to be. All is right. They were sealed for eternity, they were two of the most spiritual and humble people I knew, and they did their best. I only hope I can be like my grandma. I don?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢t know if that is possible, if I have the ability to be as good as she was. She was a lady, she was graceful, she was down to earth, she loved the Lord and she kept her second estate. She was a good woman and a true example of virtue and righteousness.