Monday, May 23, 2011

Grandma Reeder

I got a call the middle of April from my Mom who has been taking care of my Grandma (my Dad's Mom) for the past couple of years. She said my Grandma wasn't doing too well and they figured it would only be a couple of weeks until she would pass away. I had a little breakdown that day... I watched the sweet movie my Cousin's wife made of her life and just cried. I love my Grandma. She has been such a special person in my life. I was lucky to have had the opportunity to grow up next door to her and when I was little spent a little part of every day visiting her and then as often as I could when I got older.

I remember sneaking over to Grandmas to be her special helper. It was always more fun to help Grandma (who paid you in treats and Idle Isle chocolates) than to help Mom. :) One of my earliest memories had to of been when I was sitting on her green stool watching her iron in the basement. The next was when I was 6 and I had been praying SO hard for a baby sister. Every night and day I prayed that my Mom would have a baby girl. I remember my Grandma and I telling my Mom that we were both SO sure that the baby she was going to have would be a girl. I even remember helping my Grandma make a pink blanket for the baby. (We were that sure and yes we were right!)

Part of my breaking moments during the storm came from knowing how soon the time would come when she left this life. I had been calling and checking in with my Mom daily and getting updates. When my phone's battery went out after the storm and there wasn't any way to charge it... or so I thought, I broke down thinking that I might miss the call or not know what would be going on. By that time, my last update was that she was only going to make it a few more days.

Once again, I can't tell you how grateful I am for good friends who let us charge our phones at their house. As I called my Mom Saturday morning to check in with her and ask her the update... she said my Grandma was awake enough and would be able to talk with me.

A few moments I will treasure and cherish for the rest of my life.

I was able to hear her sweet voice one last time and tell her how much she meant to me and how much I loved her.

I will never forget our little conversation...

Our power was turned on Tuesday afternoon, but my excitement was short lived... As I called my Mom to check in Wednesday, she let me know that my Grandma had just passed away.

It was another little breaking moment for me. How grateful I am for my sweet husband and boys who just let me cry for awhile. How grateful I am to know families are forever and for my sweet little Zenock who had just learned about resurrection (from the Easter lesson in Primary), who when we told him Great Grandma had died, responded with, "It's ok Mom... She will be resurrected and be alive again." What a powerful moment for me. I was already so exhausted from the last week... to hear his little testimony completely did me in. My crying didn't stop for pretty much the next week.


We found out the funeral would be that weekend May 7th.

We ended up making reservations about eight Wednesday night to fly to Utah and left around 4 am the next day. (I was just beginning to do laundry... I've never gotten laundry done, cut Zenock's hair, baths, bed, and packed so fast in my life!)

We got to Utah Thursday afternoon and surprised our Mom's with some flowers.
(We hadn't told JC's parents/family we were coming... surprise!)


My Grandma's viewing was Friday night and the funeral Saturday.

It was so good to see so many family, friends, and special people in my Grandma's life. All of her children and grandchildren were there.

My Grandma made the comment this past winter that she was going to wait until the flowers bloomed to die. She did just that...

It is was barely Spring in Utah and the flowers were everywhere. It was a seriously beautiful day!


Cousins. I have so many fun memories of this group.


My Dad's siblings with their spouses.





It was a perfect day to remember and honor my sweet Grandma.


I wanted to share a few of my favorite memories/stories of my Grandma... for journal purposes.


This has to be one of my all time favorite pictures. My Grandma and Grandpa on their wedding day. Isn't she beautiful!? I absolutely love her dress as well... my favorite.

One of my favorite stories is from their wedding day. My Grandma was so nervous and was outside in the garden/behind a tree throwing up. My Grandpa showed up behind her with a bouquet of bluebells... My Grandma always talked about how handsome he was. She said seeing him, just made her more nervous and took her breathe away.

My Grandpa served in Italy during WWII. My Grandma was at home with two small children. There are some amazing love letters between these two during that time. The kind of letters movies should be made from. People don't write that way or say those things to each other anymore. Every letter starts out, "My Darling, my darling, sweetheart, darling." Their love was real.

I never knew my Grandpa... he was thrown from a horse and passed away when my Dad was serving his mission.

I can ONLY imagine the reunion between these two in heaven...
I can only hope someone recorded it.

Some other memories of Grandma...

-Playing dress up in my Aunts old formals with my cousin Caroline and having a fashion show for my Grandma. (We did this a lot and loved it!)

-Sleepovers at Grandma's with my cousin Caroline. We would always watch Anne of Green Gables and play "Hide the thimbel or Johnny Lemonade (a charade game.)"

-Chinese checkers

-Her house and the way it smells. My maternity clothes were boxed up after having Zenock when we still lived in my Grandma's basement. When I unboxed them with Kamden -- they all smelled like my Grandma.

-She loved her rose garden and was always out tending to them.

-The "magical" laundry shoot in her house. We always wondered where it went or tried to throw empty toilet paper rolls down the shoot.

-Night games with cousins on her back lawn and then going inside to listen to stories from Grandma.

-Gathering at her house when someone was in town. It was sure to be a party!

-The kid bench in her kitchen.

-Her reaction the first time I highlighted my hair... haha. =)

-Root beer floats and Sunday ice cream socials on her terrace.

-Her love and knowledge of birds... except black birds. She did not like them.

-Shopping days with Grandma in Ogden. We always had to stop at Clifton's dress shop then onto the mall and lunch at the Tiffin room.

-Writing secret anonymous love notes (with my cousin Caroline) and leaving them on her doorstep... along with a flower from her garden.

-Her rocking chair in the kitchen

-Her chocolate cream cookies... yum!

-Idle Isle Chocolates... her favorite.

-Her testimony of her Heavenly Father... she shared it often.

-Her white swing outside... sitting and watching the sunsets every night in the Summer.

-Having her talk about her history or Grandpa.

-Her cheery "Hello" when she would come over for a visit.

-Cleaning her house every Saturday in 7th grade so I could earn money to buy Dr Marten sandals... (So important at that time and she understood.)

-Dinner at Idle Isle for her Birthday... While JC and I lived with her we took her to there for her Birthday every year.

-Memorial day picnics at her brothers house in Logan.

-Pulling out of Kents and seeing her drive by at 50 mph down the road in her BIG red car. (She was keeping up with my Uncle Bob)

-Having her take me to work a few times... (I begged my Dad to take her drivers license away...)

This list could go on and on... I have to stop somewhere.

I read a quote while in Utah... "Childhood has a short shelf life." It is SO true, but so many of my memories come from that short time. (Ok- so I know I'm not very old...)

JC and I were able to live in her basement for a couple of years while he finished up school. I loved the nights that he would work late and I could just go up and sit with her on the bed or in the living room and chat and watch Lawrence Welk. A time I will never forget.

JC and I used to laugh when we would hear her banging pots and pans around 11 or so at night... We knew she was up making a treat. I get my sweet tooth from her.

I loved after Zenock was born and I was home for maternity leave, she would come down every day to visit and to hold Zenock for a few minutes.

She would always sing the same song to him... "Oh What shall we wear, oh what shall we wear, Oh What shall we wear to the ball..." After which she would say, "I don't remember the rest."



I ache to give her a hug one more time or have her squeeze my hand, but so grateful I was able to tell her that I love her one last time. She has taught and given me so much in my life. Her charity and love of simple pleasures in life are things I want so badly to incorporate into my own. She is such an example of the kind of person I want to be.

At her funeral we (the granddaughters) sang the Primary song, "My Heavenly Father Loves Me." (Whenever I hear the song of a bird...) It was one of my Grandma's favorites... it fits her and who she was so perfectly. The words in the song describe her so well.

My Grandma Reeder was a beautiful amazing woman. She always made me feel so special.
I am so blessed that I get to call her MY Grandma.

(And maybe now I will quit crying. :)


The Adamsons said...

This is such a beautiful post Carin. Thank you for sharing all of your memories here. Grandma's the best. Seems like you guys have had a crazy few weeks, hope you're settling back into the routine of things well. Hope to see you again soon. Lots of love.

Charsty said...

What a sweet, sweet tribute to your Grandma! I can't believe that having never met her I started crying while reading this. Maybe it's because the grandkids sang the same song at my Mom's funeral.
I know exactly what you mean about the sweet spirit kids have. It's crazy that Kira and Zenock are/were the same age when experiencing death. It's so sweet that they had said the same thing.
From reading this I can tell how much your grandma loved you and how much joy you gave her. Thanks for letting me see a glimpse of that!

Shennie said...

This made me cry too.
My Grandma passed away a week before Christmas. I also was able to go out for the funeral. It was wonderful to be there with family but it's still so hard.

Thank you for including your tribute to her. It was beautiful. I love her picture on her wedding day and the story. What a fun lady.

Thanks for sharing it with me.
Hang in there. I wish I could come give you a hug too...

Bourgeous said...

What a wonderfully sweet tribute. I love your pictures, especially the one of Grandma and Grandpa. I have never seen that one before. I am so glad that we had a chance to talk, time has just gone by so fast. I just wanted to slow down time.
Talk to you soon!

Heather said...

Hmmm... your Grandma was a Heniger. Maybe we are related. lol. Craig's grandma is a Heniger too. I enjoyed reading about her. You really have had a hard go of things lately. It's okay to cry it out. There is nothing wrong with that. I think you are amazing! :)

Erin said...

You got me crying now!
Such a sweet post to your adorable grandma. Times like this I am glad to know of the life hear after. She is in a HAPPY place looking down on you. Hang in there cute Carin!!

HouseofHubbs said...

well now I am crying! I love your post, thank you for sharing your memories with all of us. XO

Jacque Hadlock said...

What sweet things you shared! I have always thought so highly of your grandma! She is such an amazing person! She wrote me regularly on my mission and was always so kind to me and stopped to talk to me to see how I was doing!
We were so blessed to grow up neighbors with our grandmas! I was up at my mom's that weekend and my dad said he saw you at the funeral and I wanted to stop over and say hi but I knew it would be a busy time for you! Thanks for sharing these memories!