Monday, February 6, 2012
Early this morning my moms mother, Juanita (Nita) passed away at the age of 87. She has had very poor health over the last several years, sever problems with her feet her entire life making it very painful and difficult to walk, and has spent the last 7 or 8 years in a wheel chair. Her passing is a blessing in the fact that she will no longer be in pain and for that we are grateful, although she will be missed dearly.
My grandmother was (is) a HILARIOUS women. She was witty, spunky, and full of Irish-Catholic feistiness!! My grandma was tough as nails and faced some huge trials in her life. She said what was on her mind and taught me to stick up for myself. I always knew that my grandma loved me and I am so grateful to have had such a great relationship with her.
One of my most treasured memories of her was her coming with me to pick out my wedding dress and having her buy my veil for me. My mom had been in town shopping for wedding dresses and we just didn't have any luck finding the "perfect dress". My mom was pretty heart broken to not be there with me to buy my wedding dress. My mom suggested that my grandma go shopping with me, so that at least she could be there when I picked out my dress. I can vividly remember my grandmother picking me up at my Provo apartment to go shopping. She was so excited to get to do this with me. As soon as I got in the car she asked if I wanted to go to breakfast. We ate together at Village Inn in Provo and we talked about the wedding plans as we ate our breakfast. Afterwards we headed to Walker's bridal. I can picture my grandma right now parking the car and struggling to get out of the car, I remember having her hang onto my arm as she slowly walked into the bridal shop. It always made me so sad for her that she had such horrible problems with her feet and legs. Once we were inside we looked around for only a few minutes and then I spotted the dress I had to have. I told my grandma, "this is THE DRESS" and she kept asking me over and over again if I was sure. We picked out the veil and a pretty jeweled hair piece to go with it. We also found some pretty high heals as well. My grandma always wished she could wear high heals, but with her foot problems is wasn't possible. When we got ready to pay my grandma took the veil and hair piece from me and told me that she wanted to buy it for my wedding gift, I thought this was so sweet of her.
Just a few weeks ago when my parents were in town for my cousin Megan's sons funeral I had an overwhelming impression that we needed to stop by the care center to see my grandma on the way home. My grandma had come to the viewing the night before but my family wasn't in town yet. I am so grateful that I listened to this prompting from the Spirit, this was the last time my mom, dad, and siblings saw her. It was such a great visit, she was a hoot, cracking jokes, talking about when she stole my grandpa from her friend, and even calling my dad by name (this was rare). It was such a fun visit. She loved seeing the baby and especially loved when we reminded her that we had given the baby her middle name. She had us all laughing hysterically. Randomly in the middle of our visit, she whipped her head around and told my dad, "geese, you are so handsome, Ron". I will always cherish this precious time we had with her.
This past Thursday after I dropped J-man off at school I headed to her care center to spend sometime with her. When I first got there she was peacefully sleeping. I sat by her, talked to her, kissed her forehead, and told her how much I loved her. About an hour later I was in the other room feeding the baby and talking with my Aunts, Grandma started yelling out in pain and we all hurried into her room. The hospice nurse had turned her on her side and it was very uncomfortable and painful for her. My Aunts got her situated but she continued to try to talk, they couldn't hear what she was saying so they asked me to listen. As I put my ear close to her mouth I heard her whisper a few words, the things she said will forever be precious to me. I started to cry, I kissed her forehead one last time and then whispered in her ear to please hug my baby brother for me and tell him how much I love and miss him. The spirit filled her little room and I know angels were present. I could have stayed for hours longer talking to her and holding her hand, I didn't want to leave(but the kids were getting out of school.)
I love my grandmother so dearly, she has made a HUGE impact on my life and I am so grateful to have been blessed to be her granddaughter. I don't even know how to put into words how grateful I am to my grandmother for converting and becoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints. I can't imagine my life without the knowledge of the Gospel, the knowledge that families can be TOGETHER FOREVER through covenants in the Lords Holy Temples. Death does NOT part us, our family is Eternal and we will be together in the next life. My faith has sustained me through my biggest trials and my faith in the Savior Jesus is unshakable. I have my grandmother to thank for joining the Church and making it possible for me to have this knowledge. My faith makes up who I am, my purpose in life, it is the center of my life, family, and home. Grandma, you have given us the MOST priceless gift!!!
I love this quote... "When you save a girl, you save generations", this is most definitely the case for our family.