My grandma went to be with her Savior the day after Valentine's Day. I know it's weird to say that the passing of a 96 year old woman seemed sudden and unexpected, but it was. She was doing great this summer. She did more dishes than anyone during our reunion in South Carolina this summer. She made her famous homemade chicken and noodles for over 30 of us without complaint. She was always the last one to go to bed and was up in the morning, chipper as could be.
She was blessed with pretty great health up until the week before she died. Even when she was sick, we fully expected her to recover because that is what she always did. Until she didn't. So that is what seemed sudden about it. Even though she was 96, her spirit was so much younger.
There are lots of things I learned from my grandmother, but here are just a few.
*She didn't seem to worry. Well, maybe she did, but I didn't see her worrying. She drove across the country with her 90 year old girlfriend not too long ago. Lonely, deserted highways, truck stops, and yucky bathrooms. You would think that a woman in her nineties would have some anxiety with these things. Not Anita... she was an adventurer.
*She was generous. She was generous to her own family, but also generous to her church and other missionaries. We found out after my grandfather's death that he tithed 25% of everything he made. He was very frugal and planned with his money, but to him it was a means to give well and provide for the family that God had given him. She continued his legacy of giving. Their financial contributions have led to many people coming to know Christ. They exemplefiy the verse that says, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Their treasure, and their hearts, belonged to Christ.
*She was not hard to entertain. If there was a deck of cards nearby, or a game of Tripoly or Rummy and a bowl of Chex Mix or popcorn, she was happy.
*She was ultimate housewife. She sewed matching dresses for her little girls. She put their hair in rags at night so they would look like little Shirley Temples the next day. She ironed sheets and starched collars. She knew how to make everything from scratch and never minded doing it. It seemed worth the trouble for her and she did it without complaining.
See the sweet curls on those girls! :)
Quite a legacy.
I will miss my grandma. The kids will miss their GiGi. I'm thankful for her example of a life lived fully to the very end.