A Great Woman...Leaving Behind Her Legacy

Right now our family is currently going through a struggle of preparing for the loss of a great woman.  I continue and will continue to learn from her on a daily basis. 
As I sit and watch her spend precious moments with my kids, giving them her 100% undivided attention, listening to their stories; like how the tooth fairy came and Bubba found out he had a boy tooth fairy (and he is green), and how Miss Firecracker was getting better about wake boarding and wants to do tricks by the end of the summer, how Hotrod is heading off for an amazing trip with the Boy Scouts and have an experience of a lifetime, and how Miss Baby Girl is going to grow up a save all the animals in the world and be a veterinarian because she made friends (and named them all) with some sweet horses last weekend while we were camping. 
While we listen to Grammie talk about growing up on the farm in Canada with her brothers and sister (2 boys and 2 girls, just like my little family), I wonder to myself...what legacy will I pass onto my children, or like in Grammie's case, my grandchildren and my great-grandchild? 

Will I grow into the role of the matriarch of the family, much like Grammie is?

Will I be as solid of a rock for my family like she has been for ours? 

The crazy thing is, this isn't even my lifelong grandmother.  This is my husband's grandmother and I've been blessed to be able to call her my Grammie for only a short 17 years.  I feel so blessed that all of my children have been able to establish such an incredible bond with their Great-Grandmother; a bond, that is like no other.

You can't help but to gravitate to this woman.  Her sweetness and kindness is overwhelming.  My own parents, have gravitated to her and love her like she is their own mother.

We are, all, so fortunate to have created so many wonderful memories with this amazing woman, I can't even being to express them all to you.  I had to share a few that just popped into my head.

Memory #1:  The day my son was born.

My husband and I weren't together too long before we became parents.   We were young.  Very young.  We were in love.   VERY much in love.  I hadn't met a lot of his family at the time.  Then came baby delivery day.   We were living with his parents at the time and my water broke.  We headed off to the hospital and off my mother-in-law went to grab Grammie and come to the hospital.  I didn't want a lot of people in the room for the birth of Hotrod.  Yet, here we were in this teeny-tiny hospital room, expecting our first baby, and we have my mother, my mother-in-law, Grammie, my sister, 2 nurses, and the doctor.  As soon as Grammie walked into the room, she shoved my hubby right out of the way and started to rubbed my forehead with a damp rag, giving me ice chips, and rubbing my arms and back.  She took care of me.  And with ALL those people in the room, Grammie was the ONLY ONE who had a camera.  If it weren't for Grammie, we would have no pictures of the labor, the brand new baby, nothing of our first day to our new little family.  The joy on her face when she met and held her first great-grandchild for the first time and being there when he was born (it was her first delivery that she had ever seen) I will never forget it.  Pure love.  She just illuminated pure love.
(Photos are pre-digital days, and they are in a scrapbook. Sorry.)

Memory #2:  The Nutcracker

Every year, for Christmas we draw names for the following Christmas. 

i.e.:  Christmas 2012 we draw names for 2013. 

We have one full year to plan for Christmas presents for that one special person.  I drew Grammie.  What do you get an woman who has everything and doesn't need anything? 


You give her time. 

Your time. 

You go on a date.

You listen to her stories, while she listens to yours.

Grammie had never seen the Nutcracker before.  I remember my mom taking me every year when I was a little girl.  We would get dressed up, go to dinner and then go to the ballet. 

So, that's what we did. 

My girls and I, got dressed up. 

We picked up Grammie for a nice dinner down on the water, watched the Christmas ships go up and down the water while we ate, and then we headed over to watch the Nutcracker ballet.  Had our picture taken in front of a beautiful Christmas tree, by the nice valet guy.  We did this a few days before Christmas and for her gift on Christmas,  I had printed this picture, put it in a frame and gave it to her.  It sits on her dresser to this day.

I secretly hoped we would continue to draw her name every year afterwards.   We did, one more time, and the girls and I took her to see The Lion King, which was another wonderful experience for all of us.  (You don't need a holiday to spend time with your loved ones and take them on a date.  Do it anytime!  Life is too short)

Memory #3:  Boating and Camping

Last summer, July 2012, we spent 10 days camping in Detroit Lake, OR.   This was our first vacation, camping for a full week (10 days), with the boat.  We normally spend Independence Day at the coast doing our usual crabbing, sitting by the campfire, etc.  However, we (The Mister and I) wanted to use our boat and do something different.   My mother-in-law, (a new wave runner owner) was immediately on board.  So, soon the whole family (Auntie's, Uncle's, cousins, kids, and Grammie) were all coming with us.  The original plan was that Grammie was going to camp for about 3-4 days, then go home with the rest of the family, since not everyone could stay for the full 10 days.

In those 3 days, we played cards with her (Spite & Malice being the favorite), Gin Rummy, Uno, and had s'mores by the campfire.  When day 3 came around, Grammie was in immense back pain, however, she was having such a great time she decided to stick it out the remainder of the trip.  Needless to say, my in-laws, my hubby, kids and I were thrilled she decided to do this.  We took her out on the boat, she was able to watch the kids wake board and swim off the boat.

We showed her all the lakeside homes while we putted around the lake, and she had a perma grin the entire time.  We didn't know it at the time, but that would be Grammie's last camping trip.  Oh the memories she made for us that trip.

I could go on and on about the memories we have with her in them.  I only have 17 years of memories with her, imagine that wonderful childhood my husband had by having her as a grandmother.  (I love her smile in this picture.  She had so much fun that day)

The legacy she has managed to pass onto all of us is unmeasurable. 

The way she has inspired me to be a better mom, with patience, with grace, with love, just like her (I have a long ways to go, as she has some very big shoes to fill).

We love you Grammie.  Always have, always will.

What legacy will you pass onto your future generations?  What memories will everyone be sharing?   Are they good ones? 


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