Today is my Grandma Violet’s 87th birthday. There was a big party for her today in her Wisconsin hometown, and JJ and I and our girls were the only family members not there. I am intellectually okay with the fact that we weren’t able to attend and celebrate her birthday with her, but emotionally I really wish we could have been there. Sigh.
She has led an amazing life. Her husband, my Grandpa, was diagnosed with the “creeping paralysis” when my father was 4 years old, at which time they had only been married for about 12 years. Nowadays we know the “creeping paralysis” as Multiple Sclerosis. So into a wheelchair he went, and Grandma had to take care of four children, a dairy farm, and an invalid husband on her own. My Grandpa did have brothers that lived nearby as well as his parents, but in the end, the brunt of the work most likely fell on Grandma’s shoulders. She worked incredibly hard. I can’t imagine how hard she must have worked.
Yet, she has always been a cheerful person, a positive person, and her faith and trust in God has never wavered. She played organ at her church every Sunday for years. She cooked, played games (notably Sheephead and Yahtzee), and was a friend to many, many people around her. I have so many memories of her growing up. I remember sitting around the piano while she played Christmas songs out of the Readers Digest Christmas songbook and singing Christmas carols with her and my cousins. I remember that when my family spent time up north, we slept at her house, and I shared Grandma’s bed with her. I remember how she would read her Meditations devotion out loud to me every night. And I remember how she would send me handwritten letters almost every month in college, often putting in a $5 bill. These are just a few of many, many memories.
I love Grandma very much, and I wish we lived closer. We’ve been expecting her to go home to heaven for the past 3 years. She is pretty frail, and really could go at any moment. But, she’s tough, and no measly congestive heart failure is going to do her in quickly! 🙂
Happy birthday, Grandma! May God continue to keep you in His grace and care. I love you.