Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Good Heritage

My beautiful grandmother passed away early this morning, just 6 days shy of her 90th birthday. She was ready to go be with Jesus, but still, it's hard to say good bye. This morning I was thinking about her 9 children - my Daddy, my aunts and uncles. I remember how, as a new mom feeling overwhelmed with my colicky son, the thought of my grandmother raising those 9 babies on the farm empowered me. If she could do that, I certainly had what it takes to do this. It is my heritage. I also remembered this morning that she had lost a child at birth and back in those days they didn't allow moms to hold or even see those babies. So, I imagine my Grandma today in heaven, wrapping her arms around the daughter that she never held on earth. Precious.

My most treasured memories are the summer days we spent on the farm - sleeping on my favorite feather pillow, waking up to the smell of sausage, helping Grandma milk the cows, gather eggs and slop the pigs. I remember making lunch for the "men" in the fields, which oddly included my little brother, and playing in the barn, with the wild barn cats hissing and attacking our feet. Grandpa and Grandma always had a terrifying dog named Jack, all of whom undoubtedly suffered from chained-aggression. The dogs came and went but somehow the name stuck. I remember climbing up hay bales with my cousins and begging my aunt to saddle a horse for me to ride. The farm was kid-heaven and Grandma was the center of it all.

I will remember Grandma whenever I smell sausage frying in the morning and in my endless search for an apricot kolache that tastes half as good as hers.

I few months ago I dusted of my scrapbooking skills to share a few thoughts with her:

David and I were reflecting recently on the many blessings of our lives. We have so much to be grateful for, and we know that much of it is good beyond our doing. We know that we have a heritage passed down to us by our parents and our grandparents and we just wanted to take the time to express our grateful hearts to you.

Thank you for honoring the covenant of marriage, for making a pledge that lasts a life time. We know that every marriage has its difficult seasons. For better AND for worse. Thank you for remembering the better, and moving forward through the worse. Your example inspires us in our challenges. Thank you for a legacy of Commitment.

We treasure the times we’ve been able to spend with you and the pictures we have of you holding our sons, pictures of four generations overlapping. We wonder if we will live to see our children’s children’s children as you have. We hope so and we know we are fortunate to have a legacy of Longevity.

Some of my most cherished gifts are the ones made by hand. Our wedding afghan still keeps us warm when we sit on the sofa! I’ve learned the value of creating gifts that speak of relationship, gifts that will be passed down for generations. Thank you for a legacy of Giving.

We will never forget our last visit to Great-grandma and how the boys went on and on about your yummy ham, as if my parents had not fed them the previous week. There was always food to share at your table. I remember sausage for breakfast, your delicious duck and always your trademark kolaches. We enjoy the times we spend around a table with our family and friends. Thank you for a legacy of Shared Meals.

I can remember visiting you on the farm and even though there was always so much to do, we never missed church on Sunday. There was always a prayer of blessing over our meals. These are things that have stayed with us, that we hope to instill in our children. The faith of a farmer who knows when you plant a seed rain will fall, something will grow, and God will provide. Thank you for a legacy of Faith.

Psalm 16:6
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
yes, I have a good heritage.


Anonymous said...

It sounds like you had a beautiful childhood! I am sure that your kids and grandchildren will say the same about you!

Ruth said...

Wow Lynn, I almost felt like I was there on that farm with you. I could smell the sausage too, taste the apricot and sense the safety and love you felt growing up! Thank you for sharing so vividly. As always your entries bless me.

Renee said...

So sorry about your grandma Lynn. Many of my best memories are from my grandma and grandpa too. Mine live 8 months short of her 100th birthday! The most awesome thing - she was born on Christmas Day and died Easter Sunday. Too add to your list of memories... we kids jumped off the tailgate of the old farm truck and ran back to catch it while grandpa pretended not to notice - and those cows never gave me any milk seemed to work for grandma just though :) Love you