Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Celebrating Mothers-My Grandma Gloria

If you want to join in or read other posts head over to Keri's blog, HERE. Today I am sharing about one of my grandmothers, Grandma Gloria.

Grandma Gloria is my Dad's mother. Grandma had 6 kids and my Dad is the eldest. She was born in 1925 and was the eldest daughter of a large family. I don't know too much about her growing up days, but I do know that for a time she went by her middle name, Hortense and she worked at a bank as a young woman. At some point(so she told me years ago), one of her co-workers told her it might be good to go by Gloria as it wasn't so...old-fashioned ;-) It is funny, because almost all of her sisters go by a nick name rather than their given name.

My Grandma grew up in Oklahoma and Arkansas, but lived the majority of her adult life in Washington state. I've never known her any where else. The home she lived in was built by(if I remember correctly) her second husband(my Grandpa Ralph) and she lived there until she died 4 years ago. I loved to look out their front window and look at Mt. Si that was right there...beautiful. I will probably always think of both Grandma and Mt. Si together.

This picture above is just how my Grandma was....no matter what. Throughout all of my growing up and beyond she battled illness after illness. She had cancer several times, panchreatitis, heart issues and diabetes which eventually took her sight. I know that she had hard days...but the thing that overwhelmingly I remember about her was her joyful, faithful spirit and her sweet kindness to others. Her faith in God and His promises to her kept her cheerful and strong. I hope that I can have half the faith she had and be as strong in times of difficulty.

Grandma and I had a few things in common...we love family, babies and poetry :-) She loved having her family about her and I was always sorry that we lived too far way for me to be there as often as some of my cousins were. I can probably count the times we were able to be together on my two hands. But she always encouraged me and shared her love with me. Even if only through phone calls, letters and rare visits. She was the matriarch of the family and family and friends were often with her. She loved to hear about new babies in the family and she was blessed with 19 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren at the time of her death...she has a couple more now :-) Just a few months before she went to be with the Lord, I told her I was expecting. She said "Oh, I just love when the babies come!" I was glad she died before knowing I lost that wee one.
She also wrote poetry...so very much. She has a self published little book of poetry that I will cherish always. She encouraged me to not wait so long as she did to try to do something with my poetry. I haven't written in a while, but I always think of her when I get the itch! At her grave side service my Uncle blessed me by asking me to read one of her poems and it is another memory that I cherish. I am so thankful he allowed that connection between us to be shared in her honor one last time.

Let me share a poem she wrote that speaks a bit about her attitude in life:

Some Day We'll Understand

It is not for us to question
Why some things should come to be;
Why sickness, pain and heartache
Should come to you and me

But rather we should all rejoice
With the beauty we are given;
A baby's smile and a love that's true,
Joy coming straight from Heaven.

Hard times can make us wise and strong
They'll help us grow in grace.
The joys we know-the happy times
Are but a reflection of God's face.

No, it is not for me to question
Why some things should come to be;
But rather ask that God will make
A blessing out of me.
And also, if you will indulge me...let me share the poem I was blessed to read at her funeral in 2006.

Let's Meet on the Mountain

Let's meet upon the mountain
Where icy waters flow.
Meet upon the mountaintop
Where purple rhododendrons grow.

Let's meet upon the mountain
Or travel hand in hand.
Look out upon the other side
To heaven's wonderland.

Let's meet upon the mountain
The Lord awaits us there.
We'll take the straight and narrow path
That joins heaven's golden stair.

I miss Grandma Gloria ever so much. She inspired me to write, to love, to consider children a most treasured blessing(whether 1 or 20 in number and whether your own or another's). She inspired me to ever look to the Lord for my strength and to consider even sorrows as blessings. When she died, I had not seen her in several years...but her face shines brightly in my memories and her love continues to beat strongly in my own heart! Thank you Lord for blessing me with such a wonderful Grandmother!



seawalker44@yahoo.com said...

Sommer...What a beautiful tribute to my mother! I was reading it to your Mom and got all choked up! Thank you. Please post your link to the MallowBunch -- our whole family will enjoy your words...Dad

Sommer said...

Oh, Dad, I'm so glad you liked it! I had a hard time writing it...I've been feeling teary ever since. I loved her(and still do) so very much!

I will post the link to the group:-)

Lots of love,

Sarah Jane said...

What a beautiful beautiful woman! And I can see (or read) so much of her in you. Her poems are truly beautiful blessings, that carry on the blessing of her sweet spirit even after she has passed on to heaven. What a joy to have her as your grandmother!

Sommer said...

Thank you for your sweet words Sarah! She really was a special woman and I am so glad to share that with others.

Lots of love,