My grandma was a tiny woman of few words. She showed me who she was by her actions. I can see her now in her kitchen making chocolate gravy and biscuits (see my recipe page,) or working in her garden, or in a rocking chair with a baby. She was always moving, always serving.
Grandma’s sense of humor seemed a bit bizarre sometimes. We were at the well pulling up a bucket of ice-cold water when I asked, “Grandma, do you have any more kids?” “Yes, I put them in the well,” she said. I was about 8 at the time and felt a shiver of fear run through my body. After that I kept my nosey questions to myself.
Grandma had 12 children; the youngest, Patsy, was a few months younger than I. She had more children than anyone I knew. It is remarkable that I never heard her raise her voice to anyone. If she had complaints, she never aired them. I can tell you every one of her children loved her. At family reunions my mother and her sisters were bustling about helping her, easing her work when they could. When grandpa died, her son’s moved her from the farm into a home they built. I’m sure one or another of them plowed her garden every year as well. They patterned their lives after hers, work and service.
I remember the quilting frame hung from the ceiling, all of her patterns stacked and ready to attach. I recall the tiny stitches made so evenly and straight. I had a baby quilt made by grandma that I used for all 3 of my boys. When my granddaughters, Taylor and Samantha, came along I gave it to them. These quilts are treasures crafted by her hands, gently used, and passed from one generation to the next.
Grandma was 95 when she peacefully slipped from this life into eternity. The preacher told her about her wish to help other folks; he spoke of her generosity. It reminded me of the widow’s mite in Mark 12. She was survived by 10 children, 40 grandchildren, 63 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren. She left all of us a spiritual heritage and an example of a life well lived.