memories of my grandma

we had a beautiful memorial service for my grandma yesterday, at her church (gulf shores united methodist church). the turn-out from my family was amazing: three living children and their spouses, plus her son-in-law who’s wife died decades ago; all 10 of her grandchildren (from california, idaho, utah, colorado, southern and northern michigan, north carolina, and florida), and many spouses; and 7 of her great-grandchildren. we’ve really had a party in her memory these past 48 hours: hanging out, getting caught up, laughing, telling stories.

the service itself was beautiful, and included some great sharing from family members, plus comments from many of her close friends here. knowing there was going to be a sharing time, i took a moment sunday morning to jot down whatever memories came to me in the moment, and read this at the service:

a handful of random memories (i’ve added a few explanatory comments in brackets here, which i didn’t include during the service)

jell-o molds on the kitchen wall

the kids’ table in the kitchen

rafia-textured wall-paper in the den [these early memories are all from her home in ann arbor, michigan]

watching fireworks from the top of the backyard hill, while she shuttled back and forth with snacks and drinks

bags and bags of shelled pecans [from alabama]

queen of the deck on otilig [my grandpa’s sailboat]

queen of the canvas on winnie pooh [my grandpa’s catamaran, named after his petname for her, which became my family’s when they retired to alabama]

absolutely dependable birthday cards for everyone [we found out at the service that she spent time every week writing notes and cards to sick people from her church]

stroganoff, christmas cookies, peel-and-eat shrimp

the omni-present set hair

picking threads and lint off my clothes

picnics – lots of picnics

proud of her grandchildren; proud of her great-grandchildren

an overcomer, resilient, loyal, independent, giving, serving, faithful and full-of-faith

dutchess of nottingham lane [her street in ann arbor]; bon secour diva [retirement home in alabama]; oyster bay pearl [retirement condo]

beeeeau-tee-ful; beeeeau-tee-ful [her response to every gift she opened]

4 thoughts on “memories of my grandma”

  1. My grandpa died 3 years ago. I had an opportunity to go see him before he passed, but I couldn’t find the time. I regret it to this day. Your post brought back fond memories of him. Thank you.

  2. If you are in Gulf Shores…you are about 40 minutes away from were we live…in Gulf Breeze!

    Toni Rings

  3. Mark, I’m sorry about your grandma. I remember going to their home in Ann Arbor for barbecues and picnics when we were, like, 10 years old.

    Mark Barnett

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