A Reminder of the Gift We’ve Been Given

Josh and I have been married for a month now.  It’s been pretty blissful.  Especially the honeymoon.  Which I have yet to tell you about because I need to edit a bajillion photos and then pick only a few for the blog.

Speaking of editing, I just finished a big project- a meld of joy and sadness.  My Grandma Doris went to meet her Savior on September 9th, just after her 87th birthday.  I was one of those lucky kids that got to grow up 5 minutes from adoring grandparents, and she and I had a special relationship.  I asked for all the photos from her home when Josh and I were in Chicago saying goodbye a few weeks ago.  I brought them back to Detroit in boxes and looked through every single one, scanning and editing 300 of the best into a slideshow.  It was a meaningful process for me and an important final product for her family and friends that gathered last Saturday.  We have incredible pictures depicting a legacy of love.  Here are few of my favorites:

Grandma Doris met my Grandpa Jack in 1944 when he was on leave from WWII.
They continued this great love story for the rest of their lives- giving us an incredible example to follow.

I love hearing the stories of their parenting days.  They were very adventurous with their sons, John and Greg (my dad) and their daughter, Debbie.
I love this next one. It’s their first Father’s Day as grandparents (with my cousin Heather).  Isn’t their excitement captivating?I’m so thankful for the many hours my grandma spent with my brothers and me.  Our grandparents were our favorite babysitters.

Isn’t this the perfect grandparent house?  Every memory I have in this place is filled with delight.
Grandma and Grandpa’s house also meant a gathering of cousins.  I think cousins are one of the best things a kid can have.

My baby brother Jonathan was born 6 weeks before my twin cousins.  My grandma and I shared a love for having our arms filled with babies. (And I apparently loved all the fashion 1990 offered the world).

I’m so thankful for this wonderful woman who delighted in me and prayed for me every day until she went to Heaven.My Aunt Debbie, pictured above, was her youngest and only daughter. She wrote a beautiful eulogy to be read at my grandma’s funeral. I leave you with the words of a daughter honoring her mother and best friend.

It’s impossible to put into words what our Mom meant to us. The best I can do is summarize that throughout our Mom’s life, she poured her love into us….into her grandkids. Our mom grew up in a little town in western Illinois–Morrison, one of four kids. She left home at 13 to be a nanny for a family in Galesburg and moved to Chicago at 19, enrolling in a nursing school. Our mom met our dad, Jack when he was on leave during WWII.  They eloped the following Christmas Eve in 1945.  Our mom and dad had one of those marriages that can only be described as a real love story. They lived in a third floor walk-up in Chicago, had my brother John in 1950, Greg in 1952.  My mom often described favorite memories of weekends at Lincoln Park Zoo with my dad and brothers, and picnics at Dam 4 in Park Ridge. Our parents moved to Park Ridge in 1956.  In 1961, I was born. Our parents were very involved in their church, The 1st Baptist Chuch of Park Ridge for over 50 years. Our mom was an avid bridge player, Chicago sports fan, most particularly rooting for the White Sox, had a particular gift for flowers, gardening and making our home filled with love. Our Mom had a great faith–the kind of faith that she talked about a lot, and sustained her throughout her life.  She was easy to talk to and for me, just talking to my mom, hearing her calm, common sense approach to everything always helped me. One of my mom’s favorite expressions was, “I just give it over to God.” Our mom had a ready smile and a kind word to everyone she met. We loved our mom’s sense of humor–she treasured her friends. She treasured us. She kept pictures on her refrigerator of each one of us, our children, her great-grandchildren and delighted in us all. She prayed for us. Our mom was our greatest fan, encourager, always there for us, always loving us. My mom infused her positive outlook into us. Our dad passed away in 2000 and it was a great loss for our mom.  She moved from her beloved home of so many years in Park Ridge to Rob Roy in Prospect Heights in 2004. Mom loved her home in Prospect Heights, and met great friends there also. The other morning about two weeks ago, my mom was up very early, watching the sun rise. I asked her how she was feeling and she said she was just reflecting on all her blessings, naming them one by one, how grateful she was for the life God had given her. Our loss of our mom is an enormous void in our lives. It feels to me like the sun went down, the loss of her sweet smile, kindness, laughter and her love. But for our Mom it is a grand Homecoming with her Savior, our beloved dad, her family and friends who have preceded her. When I count my blessings, I thank God for giving us such a wonderful Mom.

One thought on “A Reminder of the Gift We’ve Been Given

  1. Man alive! This is one of the most beautiful posts ever! Thanks for sharing. You brought me to tears on this one… makes me miss my Gram Jones too. What a blessing it is to have such a beautiful legacy in your family. Love you friend.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s