We celebrated the life of Wes's sweet Grandma this weekend after she ended her painful battle with breast cancer. She was an absolutely wonderful woman, mother, and grandmother. She has always made me feel that I was a valued member of her family even though I only entered her life through marriage just five years ago.
As we visited with her over the last few weeks before she passed away she seemed to be passing on words of wisdom she had gathered throughout her full and faithful life to all who came to see her. She shared a sweet little nugget with me as I sat next to her on her bed that I will never forget. We were talking about raising children and she said the most important thing to remember when raising children is to "never give up." I have since pondered on that profound bit of advice and have realized that statement can go so many ways. Never give up on your toddlers with their tantrums, your teenagers with their hormones, your grown children with their adult problems, and never give up on yourself as a mother or a child of God capable of mothering all you come in contact with.
She went on to say she was so tired. We all agreed that, yes, we were sure she was tired, all of us thinking she meant physically tired from her battle with her body. She told us no, she was "the good tired." I know she was the kind of good tired you get from never giving up on anyone and caring so much.
Grandma Ellie has also been an example of always looking outward and thinking of others. She has always thought of our little family. She has picked up quirky little gifts here and there just because and for Christmas just like my sweet Grandma Evelyn used to do. Just a few weeks ago she presented me with a book she had found called "Lily Boop." It is an interesting little story I had never heard of about an animal named Lily Boop that becomes friends with a little girl. When she gave me the book she said, "I haven't even read this, but I saw the title and knew we needed it." Always, always thinking of others in small and simple ways.
I have always admired her gospel wisdom and hope to gather knowledge the way she had.
My last visit with her was three days before she passed away. At this point in her battle with cancer she was sleeping a lot and was barely coherent. She was completely asleep as I said goodbye to her, told her how grateful I was for being such a wonderful grandmother to my sweet husband, kissed her cheek, and stroked her arm. As we walked into her funeral behind her casket, I was incredibly proud to be a part of this remarkable woman's family, to be a part of her legacy. As part of her family we have a duty to carry that legacy forward.
I also have one confession to make: I was the person that supplied the piece of gum that she chewed and put in her ear to block out the noise of screaming girls at an event. The same piece of gum that later had to be extracted from her ear by a doctor. Hehe it sounded like she knew what she was doing at the time.
I loved spending the weekend reflecting on her life well lived.