This is what I will be reading in honor of my grandma today at her funeral:
Every summer growing up, I would look forward to spending several days with my grandparents. Besides seeing my grandparents, two things were at the top of my agenda: playing with my cousin Lauren and working on some sort of project with my grandma. I knew I would have to help clean out the Tupperware cabinet first, but then we could get to the fun stuff. One time she helped me make stained glass from her leftover scraps. Another time we made doll clothes, and yet another, a doll quilt. During the last summer I stayed with grandma and grandpa, between my freshman and sophomore year of college, we made a large quilt for me to take to school. We went through her scrap box and used fabric from dresses she had made for me when I was little, and even some used in clothes my mom wore. And even so many years later, she could still remember what fabric was used for what girl—and I got to hear all kinds of stories regarding each dress.
A few years later, after my grandma had a stroke, my husband and I went to stay overnight. We spent hours talking with grandma and grandpa, and listening to stories from the past. One of my grandma’s favorite stories to tell was about Lauren and me. Grandma used to babysit both of us when we were little, and one day, she would always say, Lauren and I were playing outside. Pretty soon, she heard me scream. Thinking something was terribly wrong, grandma hurried outside only to find me screaming because someone had smeared mud down my coat.
Another story Brad and I heard that night was about how my grandparents met. I sat there, trying not to laugh, as they debated the accuracy of each other’s story. To this day, I’m still not sure who had the story right.
I also will never forget grandma’s excitement as she anticipated the birth of her first great-grandchild. Grandma loved holding Gracelyn at our house when she was just a few days old. And then later, when grandma was in the nursing home, I always knew it would bring a smile to her face when I brought Gracelyn, and later, Jemma, in to visit her.
My family was blessed to visit grandma the Friday before she went to be with the Lord. I will never forget how she played peek-a-boo from her chair with my daughters. It’s a moment I will treasure forever.
So thank you, grandma, for all the memories. For all the stories you shared. And also, for teaching me your craft. I think of you every time I pull out my sewing machine. I can almost feel you leaning over my shoulder saying, “slow down, Malinda! You have to make your seams straight!” And it always makes me laugh, because as you know, grandma, my seams are never completely straight! But I promise, I will always remember your advice. I love you.