A beautiful woman...a beautiful life

This morning I got the call that I knew had been coming for awhile. My beautiful, 100 year old great gram had gone home to heaven. Even when you think you are ready, it's never easy to know that someone you love is never going to hug you again. 

My Grandma Ruth married my great-grandpa Wesley about the same time that my parents got married. Even though she wasn't my biological grandma, she was the only one I ever knew and she loved me like I was her own. In fact, she loved everyone like they were her own. Her house was a warm, inviting place where everyone was welcome and would be well fed.

So many things that are special to me now as an adult I just realized were a direct result of my Great Grandma Ruth. Here are just a few that I thought of today as I was reminiscing (when I was supposed to be working...oops!)

1. Grandma was the first person I remember taking me to a yard sale. She made an art of it! When we would get to her house for Memorial Day weekend, she would already have the paper circled in red of all the sales we needed to stop at on our day. She would make my dad, "Billy" as she called him, drive us all around the back roads of Western New York. She knew how to get things for nothing and how to find treasures. Once, she gave my friend and I each $5 and we filled the entire backseat with toys, books, crafts, and other amazing things. 

2. A few months ago, I was filling some jars with seashells that I had collected on a recent beach trip and I had a flash of memory of Grandma's "big house". When you walked in the back door (because family and friends never use the front door. We were "back door" friends according to her plaque) there was a dresser where she store place mats and other things. The entire top of the dresser was covered in baskets, jars, and other containers filled with shells, seahorses, and other beach treasures collected on her trips with Grandpa to Florida. As a little girl from Ohio, these were exotic things that I had never seen in the wild. I loved feeling the smooth inside of the shells and listening to the ocean in the huge conch shell. I never imagined that someday I would live so close to them.

3. One entire wall of Grandma's dining room was built in shelves and glass fronted cabinets. All of the shelves and cabinets were filled with Grandma's amazing collection of blue glass pieces. I always thought they were the most beautiful things in the world. I never, ever touched them, but I could sit and look at them for ages. When Gram sold the big house, she sold her collection too. I was so sad that I never had one piece of it. About 10 years ago, I started my own collection. Piece by piece, I have a beautiful grouping of blue, green, pink, and multicolored glass items. This Christmas, my mom gave me the most wonderful gift I have ever gotten. I didn't know that Gram had given her a blue glass pair of praying hands from her collection. They are now mine and proudly sit in the front. I know that Gram was always praying for me and I feel so connected with her through those hands.

4. When we were kids, my cousins and I would sleep on the sun porch at Gram's house. With the screens open, you could here the wind blowing through the many wind chimes hanging on the back porch. To this day, it is the most soothing peaceful sound to me. It reminds me of the quiet, carefree nights of my childhood. I have several hung in my backyard now and set the white noise app on my phone to wind chimes when I can't sleep.

There are so many things that remind me of Gram...too many to write tonight, but every time I see them or do the things that she taught me, I know she will be close to me. I know that she is walking now with the Jesus she loved so much. I can't wait for the day I can see her smile and feel that strong hug of hers again.

Love you forever Gram,


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