Today would have been my precious Gramma's 95th birthday. She passed away when I was on my extended honeymoon in 2002. My husband and I were married in Aruba and a week after we returned, we left again on a business trip that took us to Atlantic City, NJ. We were in a cab on our way to dinner when the phone rang with the news. Shocked at the timing but not shocked that she had left us. She hadn't wanted to be here for the past nine years since Papa died and prayed for the Lord to take her home daily. It was a mixture of incredible sadness but relief for her.
My Gramma called me 'princess' all of my life. Whenever I felt like no one else cared, I could always turn to her and know that she would be there for me. She is my example of unconditional love. No matter what I did, how selfish I was, or what I might have said that came out the wrong way, she loved me anyway.
We moved from California to Georgia in 1974, leaving Gramma and Papa behind. By 1978, they had purchased a house in Georgia to be with us. After a few years of subdued unhappiness over the climate, they decided to move back. It wasn't until my Papa became sick and my Gramma needed help that they returned to Georgia in 1989. My mom was their caregiver for many years.
My Gramma was a prayer warrior. She started her days praying for all of us. When she was sick and thought she might die, her only worry was 'who will pray for my family when I am gone?' In my younger days, like most people I did a lot of things that probably should have hurt or even killed me, and I believe her prayers of protection had a lot to do with the outcome.
A lot of my happiest childhood memories involve Gramma's house in CA. Miracle Whip and wheat bread make me smile. She knew I loved pickles and would always have a jar in the fridge. She wouldn't let us drink soda alone but would always add lemon lime soda to juice to make it fizzy. She would walk us down the street to the school to let us play on the playground. She always had parakeets that could talk. We would play Candyland and chinese checkers. She had a dutch door in her kitchen. She had a cumquat tree in her backyard and we would eat them straight from the tree. I don't think I've had a cumquat since. It probably wouldn't taste the same either. And most importantly, she loved Jesus NO MATTER WHAT and taught us what it means to truly have faith.
Love you, Gramma. I know you are better where you are but you are still so missed here. See you again one day.