December 1, 2007

In Honor of G-ma

If you read my last post, about the tradition of charm bracelets, then you were introduced to my amazing G-ma Betty. She was my favorite person ever and no words could ever touch on the greatness of the love that I have for her.

My G-ma always told my mom that I was "her baby". Every summer, and sometimes during the winter holidays, I would go and stay with her and my G-pa on their "farm". It isn't actually a farm, farm, but that is what we have always called it. It did have it's days with many chickens and ducks, my beloved dogs, a horse named Midnight and once was home to many cows and one bull. There are ponds and beauty all around. My G-pa did a fantastic job cleaning it up after he purchased it. He is the strongest man I have ever known. I think of it as my own "heaven". But that is another blog because I could go on all day.

So, my G-ma and I were very close. We would sit at the table for hours, literally, and she would tell me the stories of her life. So many amazing stories that I have tried to preserve.

We would go shopping and it was always so much fun, even if just to the grocery store. My grandmother could have made anything a fun and memorable experience. It was just the kind of lady she was.

Everyone loved my G-ma. She worked with many children throughout the years, including those with Downs Syndrome and Autism. She worked with kids though church, and all of the neighborhood kids loved her. She would throw parties for them and picnics. She just spread so much love throughout the world.

She even went to college when she was older and got her degree. Even the college kids loved G-ma.

She made me who I am today. Any time that I bake, or cook some great meal, I can hear her in my head telling me how to do it. She was an amazing cook. Oh my gosh, every meal was just fantastic and served at the table. Her sweets were so beautiful and tasty. Every Christmas she would come to our house with all of these fantastic cookies and pies. Amazing!

So, I could sit here and write about my Grandmother for an entire year straight, but I am sure you get the picture. My G-ma, my favorite person ever.

Her death was just so hard on me. It still is. The night she passed away, I was actually watching a videotape I had made at her home during a visit. I sat at a huge box of photos, that I know all of the stories to, and discussed them on video, so I would always have them. She came into the room and sat in her chair that is still in the exact same spot, and spoke along with me. She wouldn't let me video tape her, but her voice was there. I was watching that video in my home, celebrating her life, when her life ended.

My dad called me the next morning and told me that she was gone. I admit, there was a tad of relief, because I knew it was best for her. She had been very sick for a couple of years, so I was happy that she did not have to suffer anymore. I was happy for her, because of the place I knew she was and all of the people who loved her that had passed before her were now with her.

But then, as I fell to my knees and wept, the pain of my sorrow began. To this day, there is a huge, empty, hole in my heart that she filled while she was alive. Now, I know G-ma would not want me to be sad, but I can't help it. Especially now with children of my own. I wish so much that she could see me as the woman I am today. I wish that she could sit with me and watch my own children grow and to just tell me that I am doing a good job and that she is proud of me. I think about this every time I visit the farm now. I can hear her singing in my head, clear as day.

A few years ago, I decided I would make a charm bracelet in honor of my G-ma. I brainstormed ideas for charms that would represent her and the times we shared. It took a long time, searching, collecting, but I finally was happy and put my bracelet together.

This is my bracelet for G-ma. It is my favorite and I wear it often. I love the story each charm tells....

* She loved Alaska, her visit, and the dog sleds
* She loved wolves
* Grandma
* A hand mixer for all of the times I watched her make fresh
whipped cream
* She was a wizard with her rolling pin. I have one oh hers and it is one of my most treasured items. I bake all of my pies using it and the crust always come out perfect.
* A wishbone for all of the ones she kept, cleaned, and saved for us to
wish upon
* A doughnut for the time she taught me how to make them from scratch
* A coffee bean for her huge love of coffee. I drink it the same way she
did, pour the milk until you see it rise to the top in a swirl.
* A "B" for Betty
* A "buttercup". I have a photo of us on a picnic blanket when I was a
little girl. She told me that when you rubbed one on your chin, if your
chin turned yellow, it meant you loved butter. Mine turned very yellow.
* A lamb for a song, "Mares eat oats, and does eat oaks, and little lambs
eat ivy, a kid would eat ivy too, wouldn't you". I can still hear her
singing it in my head.
* A hair comb. I have one of hers that she used to wear.
* We went to see "Camelot" together, so the Comedy Tragedy mask
* Niagara Falls, her home for many years and the place of many
* An arching cat for the one she had in their "haunted house" that did
not like it when the lady with the dragging dress or the man walked
around the house.
* A telephone, not that she had this old time type, but she would sit
under the stairs at the "haunted" house (it was a little room with the
phone in it) and as she heard the "ghost" going down the steps, she
would hold the phone out for her friends to hear to confirm they
heard it too, and they did. (Wow, that would make a great blog).
* The motorcycle for the many memories she had, riding with my G-pa
who was so good looking (and still it). I love seeing old photos of them
in their motorcycle gear. She had such a great love for him. He was her
whole world and she loved taking care of him.
* An Aztec calendar - she had a book on "world mysteries" and it had a
picture of one on the cover. It was my favorite book and she got a
copy for me. I have both copies now.
* A trophy to represent the story of when she was 12 and the trophy of hers that I treasure.
* She loved to roller skate back in the day and was very good, as well as
her brother.
* A mink coat, for the one she had years ago and the story that went with
it (don't worry, I would never buy fur).
* A UFO for the time that I swear we saw one and it scared the crap out
of me.
* A ladybug, because when I see them I think of her, and hope that she is
sending it to me to say hello.

I have a heart as well, that is not on this bracelet yet, that I want to have engraved with her initials on one side, and my grandfather's on the other. That way, their love will always be...

So, here is another long blog. But it is about someone dear to me and is a better example of the "Tradition of Charm Bracelets". I hope it is inspirational to you and gives you an idea for your own. If so, please share with me or if you already have one, share your thoughts as well.

So now, I can just print this up and have it all written about for the lucky person I pass it along to.

This blog is dedicated to my G-ma Betty. The most beautiful, caring, loving, friendly, and so much more, woman that I have ever known, who helped to make me who I am today. I love you G-ma!


Carolyn said...

Hi Rhonda !

This is a real tribute from your heart of your G-ma . And wonderful memories that you have of time spent together .
I would love mine alive today , to ask so many questions that you didn`t even think of when you were young .

You have a real treasure of a charm bracelet to wear on you , and i`m sure she`s watching you and thinking you`re doing a good
job with your family and life .


Rhondamum said...

Thank you for your words Carolyn. Especially that you're sure she is watching over me and thinks I am doing a good job. I struggle with that so much.

I'm so glad you visit and I look forward to more of our chats. I need a DD charm bracelet :>)

Sherry said...

So much love shared by both of you. The charm bracelet is a symbol of a circle that cannot be broken...the links that bind you one to the other.

melissakate said...

Wow! What a wonderful and touching piece of writing. I was really close to my grandmother and I had to take a little break from your blog before I finished reading :)
It's no nice that you could find a way to commemorate her that not only you can treasure, but that can be treasured for generations. This really was an inspiration. I feel like I need to find my own way to remember my grandmother that will be meaningful to me.
Thanks for writing this!!!

Rhondamum said...

melissakate - I can't wait to get to know you more. I read your profile, my grandmoter LOVED the story of "The Little Prince". I think that was a sign of her telling me hello.

I am so glad that you liked my blog. You showed me that I reached my goal with this one. I am glad that I inspired you and I thank you for your wonderful words! Let's chat more soon!