You and I are going on a little adventure. As excited as I am to spend one-on-one time with you, the reason for our trip to Indianapolis is to grieve the loss & celebrate the life of my grandmother.
Since her passing I’ve come to realize the important role a “mom’s mom” plays in a daughter’s life. How she parented influenced my mom, who influenced me. She took time investing and encouraging me. Holidays. Family vacations. Video-taping my synchronized swimming meets. Taking me to get glamour shots for my 16th birthday. Attending my wedding. Holding all my babies. Except…you.
When your big brother Quade was 6 weeks old I flew to Indy with him and visited Grandma Lammert in her two-story home (which she cared for at the age of 85). I have wonderful memories of her cuddling a 9-week-old Price at Thanksgiving in Dallas. Watts and I went on our own little adventure out to California to celebrate Grandma’s 90th birthday when he was 8 months old.
That trip, two years ago, was the last time she and I spoke face-to-face. Even though I knew dementia had changed her, I cried buckets when I heard she had passed away. Oh how I wish you could have known her.
Grandma Lammert with Quade (2005)
Each time she met one of my boys she checked his ears. She complained about her own ears sticking out. I think she was sure one of her grandkids/great-grandkids would inherit them. (Yours stick out a little…I like it…I think she would have too!).
I never cared about her ears. Or her hair she claimed was too thin. Or her teeth she hid behind pursed lips when getting her picture taken. None of those features mattered to me. She was a woman of poise & grace.
When I was with Grandma Lammert I felt important. She wanted to hear what I had to say. Having been a teacher for 30 years, she loved interacting with children. She valued education and frequently I received books instead of toys for Christmas.
I spent hours playing in her home. Jumping on beds. Running around the backyard. Admiring the porcelain boy and girl under an umbrella, which played “Rain Drops keep falling on my head”. Every time I came over she had cranberry apple juice for me. She knew I liked it.
Grandma Lammert was a renaissance woman. She sewed a mint green Easter dress with a bubble skirt (so popular at the time) for me. One weekend she and I went and chose pink cotton fabric of various patterns to make a quilt for my room.
Her yeast rolls from 3 balls of dough were a family classic. Before the prayer was said, the rolls were counted to determine how many each of us would eat. Family meals were no small deal. The table was always full of food. An amazing feat given the small kitchen and space she worked in.
Her culinary skills probably came from the family restaurant she helped run in St. Louis. It was there she and her sister, Elsie, met their husbands, Frank & Harry, who were brothers. My mom has double cousins (the result of sisters marrying brothers). When our families got together it was double the fun.
Just because she taught, sewed and cooked, don’t assume your great-grandmother was a typical “girly-girl”. She played women’s sports (before the WNBA existed). During World War II she played AA women’s softball for San Angelo (kind of like the movie, “A League of Their Own.”) She loved to work out. Every day. But she didn’t call it the gym. She was always going to the “spa”. We knew what she meant.
Since I was a little girl I have been praying my grandmother would experience eternal joy through salvation in Jesus Christ. One car ride I boldly asked if she believed in Jesus. I think she half-answered my question and changed the subject.
Last time I spent with my grandmother (2010)
My mother, the only sibling in her family to have a personal relationship with Christ, had conversations with grandma about the Bible and God. She often ended the conversations with the phrase, “I believe, just not in the same way you believe.”
Until the day she mentioned a devotional she had misplaced. Given the sudden interest in Scriptures, my mom went out and bought a new book. Each day had a portion of Scripture, thoughts and a closing prayer. The passage they read together was on loving your enemies. She turned to my mom and said, “I can’t do that” to which my mom responded, “neither can I…on my own strength. It’s my faith in Jesus and trusting Him daily which helps me love my enemies.” Their conversation continued until my mother felt Grandma Lammert professed a faith in Jesus…different from any of their previous conversations. Her demeanor changed from that day on.
This is where I have hope. You will not meet her here in Indy, but perhaps she can wrap her skinny arms around you when you meet in heaven. Perhaps we will all join in praising our heavenly Father for eternity. Because this life is only a moment. Yeast rolls are delicious. Flowers are fragrant. Quilts are beautiful. But we were made for so much more than this.
You are a treasure to bring on this trip. To share your smiley face with a grieving family. To shine a light to relatives who live in darkness. To be a messenger of His love to a broken world. Love ya buddy
~What I will be reading in the service tomorrow…perfect description of my grandmother:
“Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things,
but you’ve outclassed them all!”
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!” Proverbs 31:25-31 (MSG)