Today is my grandmother LaVon’s birthday. She is in Heaven now, but today is the 89th anniversary of her birth. She died 10 years ago, but I still miss her all the time.
This is my favorite picture of the two of us together. It was taken in June of 1993. I was several months pregnant with my firstborn, her first great-grandchild, and they had come to visit us here in Virgina. Grandma and I shared a love of flowers and I had recently begun gardening seriously. She was completely taken by this hydrangea bush in my yard and very excited about the impending birth of “our” baby, hence the hand on my tummy. You can see her spirit in the expression on her face. She loved the color yellow, a “happy” color she once told me.
The smartest thing I have ever done was to give her one of those “Grandmother Remembers” books about 20 years ago. She completed it in detail and I take it out once or twice a year and read through it. I read through it again today, on her birthday. In her familiar handwriting, I find the essence of her captured in its pages. Her positive can-do attitude, her sense of joy in living, her commitment to family and to God, her pride in her husband, her children and her grand-children all come through in her words and the pictures that she shared with me.
My grandmother and grandfather were of the generation that lived through the Depression. As I watched President Ford’s funeral yesterday, another man of their generation, I couldn’t help but think of the lessons they taught us. I tend to think that Tom Brokaw might be on to something with his “Greatest Generation” designation. This generation understood gratitude, sacrifice, and service in a way to which many of us can only pay lip service. My grandparents did not have a perfect life, but they had a very good life….a life lived in service to God, to each other, to their families and to their communities. Those of their generation, unlike many of the subsequent generations, were not obsessed with more…they understood the value of enough.
Anyway, just thinking about Grandma today. Remembering her laugh, her applesauce, her sunny disposition, her clematis, her african violets, her tendency to say exactly what she was thinking without much filter :-)…and how very much she loved me. I’m sure all the grandchildren felt this way, but I always felt like she delighted in me. I love it when the bible says that God DELIGHTs in us…isn’t that a great word? I want my kids to learn what it feels like to have someone delight in them from me….just like I learned it from my mom and my dear, sweet Grandma. I can’t wait to see you someday, Grandma! Happy Birthday!