Thank You, and I Love You!
She was a farmer's daughter and a farmer's wife. By the time I was born, she and Grandpa were divorced. She would come to visit us for a few weeks or a month each year, and we would visit her on summer vacations. When I was a child, she would read to me, or hike with me, or do jigsaw puzzles with me. She was not a great cook, but she was a good one, and like every MidWestern farmer's wife born at the turn of the 20th century, she canned, and baked her own bread, and made great fruit pies; I loved her apple butter, and her strawberry/rhubarb preserves, and her jellies. She had a wonderful sense of humor, which occasionally caused a commotion when she had trouble keeping up with changing times.
Her life gave me an early sense of how much society can change in a lifetime. As a child, for example, she was raised by a nanny who had been a slave on the farm she was born at, and who became the family nurse and nanny after the Civil War.
Her real talent was needlework; tatting and crocheting and embroidery. I have quilts and afghans and doilies that she made.
Her faith was strong, and she was wiser than most. Sometimes her grandkids tried to hide their children's troubles from her, wanting to protect her from the knowledge of drug abuse, teen pregnancies and the like. A mistake, since her wisdom on the subject was usually better than theirs. When I was grown and married, and my parents were showing their wear and tear, she let me in on a few hidden family secrets that help me deal with things.
She lived well into her 90s, and I got to attend the big family gathering for her 90th birthday.
Thank you, Grandma! I love you, and miss you, but I feel you're still a part of my life.