Monday, February 23, 2009

Life Keeps Going...

Today was my Grandma Evans' funeral. She left us just 4 short months after Grandpa passed away. I have many mixed feelings that I wanted to sort out- First of all, there is the obvious sense of sadness and loss. It is hard for me as a grandchild to see them gone, but most of my sadness is directed towards my mom, who has lost both parents now. The aching and homesickness that she must feel is surely overwhelming. Another feeling is 'the stretch of generations' i.e. the fact that life keeps going. I am now where my mother was when life was just beginning- My parents are the next generation to pass on, and that in itself is heartbreaking. The feeling of excitement about Grandma's passing is a little confusing and I do attribute that to my beliefs that families can be and are forever. Grandpa prepared the way and I am sure was there to greet her as she moved from this life to the next, as was her mother that she never knew, her grandparents, who so lovingly raised her as their own, her son, Doug, who died a few years ago, a few grandchildren who were only here a short time, and all those anscestors that paved the way for us. As we stood up as grands/great-grands to sing a medley of primary songs today at the funeral, i was amazed at all the empty seats. What an amazing posterity that Grandpa and Grandma left behind! Well over 100 people are alive and active in the gospel because of these two and no doubt because of their testimonies and their examples. They have impacted so many lives, including many who were not family. Cousin Frankie Lou gave this poem in her talk today that described the way my Grandma lived her life: "A bell is not a bell until you ring it, a song is not a song until you sing it, and love was not meant in our hearts to stay, love is not love until you give it away."
Grandma was such a loving, caring, wonderful woman. She always greeted us with our face in her hands and a kiss. I remember many summer days spent at her home in Parowan, and she made sure we always had anything we needed from ice cream, to freezer pizza, pop, candy bars, to a bag or two of popcorn to keep mom and dad awake on the ride home. She made good use of her aloe vera plant doctoring sunburns, and she gave 2 dollar bills to every grandchild for their birthday. When we needed to stay over, she would pull out the hide-a-beds and make sure we had more than enough pillows and blankets. She was there for every blessing, baptism, ordination, graduation, pageant, and as many sporting events she could make it to. Both her and Grandpa were very involved in their grandchildrens' lives. When Josh got a job at SUU and needed a place to live, there was never a question if it would be okay to live with Grandma and Grandpa. Anyone was welcome, and I know that Josh was loved and appreciated. She told him so when we came down for Grandpa's funeral. After Lainey was born, they came to see the new baby just days after she was born. It was so neat to see the innate mothering instincts that Grandma had, even when her mind was suffering from the effects of dementia. We were able to stop by last Sunday to say 'goodbye'. She had a stroke about 2 weeks ago and was gradually declining and in a lot of pain. As I sat next to her and held her hand, it hit me how quickly this life passes, and how much I loved that special lady. As we went to leave, she wouldn't let go of my hand, and something unspoken passed between us. I knew that she knew who I was and that she was pleased with how I was living my life. I know that she loved me. Life will be different now, but I pray that we (her posterity) can keep her and Grandpa alive in our memories and traditions and that we can pass those valuable things down to our children and grandchildren.

4 comments:

Gene and Jenna said...

I'm so sorry about your Grandma. It had always been interesting to me that whenever a husband/wife passes away the other is usually close to follow. I think they just can't live without each other, and that is really sweet to me! I'm glad that you are taking it well (as well as you can)and I wish you peace! Take care!! I'll be thinking about you!

The Chynoweth Family said...

I was so sorry to hear that your grandma passed away, it is hard to lose grandparents. She sounded like an amazing person.

Anonymous said...

Les thank you for your memories of Grandma! It is hard for me sometimes because she has been sick for so long but when I hear them I do remember. It is really different knowing that in a few days their house will be empty and locked up... It was a home filled with love and I miss them so much!
I love you so much!
Dibby :)

Nathan and Esther said...

I'm sorry about your grandparents, Leslie. It is hard to lose someone you love. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.