The grandmother I just lost was basically who I want to be like "when I grow up." She had a strong faith in God, taught Bible classes from cradle roll all the way up to the ladies, helped with PTO and led girl scouts, raised four children, loved her husband longer than the 66 years they were married, took care of people in just about every way possible, from cooking to sewing to taking them into her home and treating them like family. She was an amazing cook, a phenomenal seamstress, crafty, frugal, and had a green thumb I will always be jealous of. Most of all, she LOVED. Family, friends, or strangers -- if you met Reba, you were pretty much immediately loved.
As several of my cousins were speaking at her funeral the other day, they listed several things she had taught them (add yeast to the roll recipe, keep your wife happy, "if the dust bothers you, here's a rag and you can take care of it," "no cookies before dinner," dress nicely for worship and you better behave or her pinch would make sure you did, if it's important to you it was important to her). We always ended up in the kitchen because we knew there was a good likelihood of snitching a bite of something as she cooked. Or we would sit and play with scraps of fabric in the sewing room floor while she worked on whatever project she had going at the time. Grandpa would come in with some cut or scrape from whatever he'd been doing and she'd patch him up so he could go do again. And she missed him like crazy these last almost five years. Her favorite grandchild was whichever was in her lap at the moment. She loved us all and had the pictures to show anyone who might ask.
My dad, in his words at the funeral, described her as being like Tabitha in the Bible. Acts 9:36 says, "Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity." And in verse 39, after she had died, it says "And when he [Peter] arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them." My Grandma definitely was known for her sewing (in fact, we all displayed quilts she had made us at the funeral). She could look at pictures in a magazine of what her daughters wanted, and pull together several different patterns to make something that looked about the same. She quilted, knit, crocheted, and dabbled in several other crafty things. She taught me to crochet in high school (hold the hook like a pencil), and in college taught me to hide my knots and take tiny stitches in a quilt. It's hard for me to imagine not quilting by hand because of her.
There were times we would visit and find someone else living in the house because she needed a place to stay so my grandparents took her in. My oldest cousin said she taught him, "We have to love them even when they sin." Yes.
She's gone now. But she's not. Because she left so much of her with us. As I have been piecing a quilt this week for my son's big boy bed (he'll probably move to it next year, ready or not), she's been on my mind. Hopefully, I can keep all these little pieces of her tucked away inside me to help me grow into someone who other people will one day was like Tabitha -- "full of good works and acts of charity." Sounds like a good Proverbs 31 woman to me.
This is a place for me to share thoughts and ideas not just related to writing. Thoughts about what's going on in my life, about an idea I got that I thought shareworthy, or just a funny anecdote.