Today at the funeral home visitation for my grandmother I had so many happy memories flashing through my head. Stories that spoke from picture boards, some stories I knew, some I had to ask about. Hearing stories from my mom & her 8 siblings about growing up with trips to the family farms, trouble they got into as 9 kids with no money under one roof. A story my mom shared with us about my grandma's passing that she told to me & my children to have and to remember.
When my grandma passed she had my grandpa and all 9 of her children surrounding her. I hope we are all so blessed as to have such a loving passing, and wish that I wasn't an only child, so that I had a large family to lean on when my turn comes to start letting the next generation pass.
The love and grace and closeness that my mom & her siblings share is a special thing that I think all of my cousins wish for. My parents generation only went so high as three children per family, and there are quite a few of us "onlies" in the group.
My mom's family is of a generation that you don't see much anymore and the legacy that they carry down from is quickly dying out. My grandma was a young wife & mother when she went to work in the factories while my grandpa was out fighting in a tank, on the front lines in Germany. They didn't have much and didn't expect much, but they all had each other.
We all marvelled that at the funeral home my grandmothers nails were painted. We had never seen that in our lives. She was always working in the dirt with her garden, or canning what they harvested from the garden. Baking rhubard pies from scratch & crocheting many things for her children, grandchildren & great grandchildren. Making the best home made fried chicken in the ancient cast iron that was ever present with her stove. Those hands were never still.
My mom commented how my grandma had such terrible gout in her fingers making things harder and painful for her to do, but today laying in her casket her hands were not swollen or painful. They were holding her rosary, with a faint touch of fancy nail polish, finally pain free. Amen.