Last week we found out that Steve's grandma had passed away. Her health had been declining, but this was still not expected. We were able to make it to California to be with the family to mourn her passing and to celebrate the life she lived.
During the service several friends were able to share memories of her, and it was so special to be able to hear those and learn more about her life. We knew that she was a believer and that gave us more hope and peace during the services. What made the service even more special was that we learned more about how she shared her faith and her love to those around her during her life. Of course, even though we didn't live near, we have our own stories to share as well.
Grandma Vine (as we call her) grew up in Arkansas. When I joined the family, I had fun discussing life in the south with her. Since my grandparents passed away several years ago, I enjoyed hearing her stories of life in Arkansas. One of the things that most southern women take pride in is their cooking. I don't know if Grandma took pride in her cooking, but she certainly shared her love with her family through her cooking. One day we were talking about fried pies, and I was saying that I like those but never learned how to make them. The next day she had made some for me. She wasn't feeling well before we got there, but she seemed so happy to be able to cook for us.
On the way home from California, Steve mentioned that he wouldn't be getting pumpkin pies any more now. I was a little surprised since I make a pumpkin pie every year now. But it was because every time we went to visit Grandma Vine she made a pumpkin pie for him. She remembered that was his favorite, so she made sure to have one for him every visit. She did the same thing for everyone in the family. And everyone looked forward to her homemade peanut brittle and toffee at Christmas. It wasn't the food itself that was so good (although it was really, really good), but it was knowing that Grandma had made it with love specifically for you.
She enjoyed doing things with the kids, too. Steve's mom tells the
story of how Grandma crawled through packing boxes with Steve and his
brother when they moved as children. She also took care of her toddler
granddaughter when she was in her 70's. She loved our boys, too. She
read to them when they were little. She let Evan help her make pumpkin
pie when he got older. When they were in the pool at Aunt Judy's house,
she wanted to be out there watching them. I only wish they could have
gotten to know her better. But I am thankful for the memories that they
have and that we can pass on to them. And I am thankful that we were
able to celebrate her life with others who loved her and whom she loved.
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