Wednesday, 19 December 2007

In Memory

I've actually been back for two days now, but I arrived home to find myself six days behind on my Christmas preparations, and have been busy trying to catch up on the baking and sewing. Even though it was a long trip - six days, four of them driving - it was worth going. I had the opportunity to get re-acquainted with an uncle I hadn't seen in 27 years, meet cousins for the first time, and I even think we managed to get talk of our first family reunion started. But the best part was being able to show my respects for a great-grandmother who has always been one of my favorite people.

I spent most of my growing up years in Canada and she always lived in Arizona, so we didn't get the chance to be together often, but I always kept in contact with her over the phone. She was the person who drummed into my head what it took to be a lady, and I remember her teaching me how to make a bed with hospital corners so tight a quarter could bounce on the mattress. After my divorce, I remember her calling me and asking me if I was letting myself become frumpy. She was concerned that I would never find a husband if I let myself go. She was always so put together and beautiful.

She taught me how to age gracefully and never lose that youthful energy. Forty years ago, my grandad passed away, leaving her a widow. She claimed to be too old to re-marry, but she never acted old. I remember her coming to visit when she was about 78 and telling us about a whitewater rafting trip she was going on. And she could out-shop any of us, continuing on long after the rest of us complained about sore feet.

The last time I was in Arizona was eleven years ago, when my two oldest children and I stayed with her for a week. Those pictures from that visit are precious to me as not many children get the chance to hang out with their great-grandmother, let alone their great-great grandmother. Even more precious are the pictures I took two years later when she and my grandma flew to Canada to see us, and she got to hold her nine-month old name-sake.

Even though I hadn't seen her for nine years and our phone calls tapered off as her memory faded, she had a place in my heart and my thoughts daily. I miss her and am so grateful that I was blessed with such a wonderful lady to call Grandma. I look forward to the day when I can see her again.

Zona E. Waldie


Tristi Pinkston said...

This is a beautiful tribute -- thank you!

Stephanie Humphreys said...

Thanks, Tristi. She was a beautiful person who deserved a beautiful tribute.

Ajoy said...

Just beautiful, Stephanie.

I am so happy to read you have had someone this special apart of your life. What a blessing!

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