Goodbye Grandma, For Just Awhile

I have no lyrical words or pretty phrases. I have only my heart sad at your passing. I am happy that I had you in my life though. You were an outstanding role model. You taught me that women can be strong and independent and still be a “traditional housewife”. Heck, you voted the way your husband wanted you to, as many women in your generation did, but you still managed to be strong, independent, and a powerful influence in the lives of many people.

You might not look like a feminist to many, but to me you are the picture of what feminism should be. You were a woman who loved her family. You were kind, you were generous and loving, and your gentle sense of humor wrapped around a woman strong enough to run a household of 7 children. You lived your life your way, and the grace with which you did so can be measured in the esteem your family held you.

I treasure each and every memory I have of you, as I have for many years. I remember watching you and my aunts at the holidays, cooking dinner. I remember the love in the kitchen, the laughter, the feminine humor, the strength of the women. I remember how good the food always tasted. I remember playing with my cousins, and the feeling that comes when you are home with those you love and there are so many of you and they are literally all over the place.

I remember going sledding during New Years with Matt, Shannon, Jamie, and the others. I remember Matt and Steve running around in their socks in your cabin so they could build up enough static in their socks to shock us so we would chase them.

I remember your little cottage, and the tables strung from one end of the inside of the cottage to the other from your bedroom, down through the hall and into your kitchen and living area. Space was at a premium. We didn’t care. Loved the food and God I miss your Keefleys.

What I really miss, is the love that went into them. That is what made them taste so good. Oh sure, I can make them and they are delicious, but I cannot make them with your hands, or your love. They won’t taste the same.

I am so very proud that you were my Grandma. I am humbled by your memory in so many ways. And I am thankful that you are not suffering now, and that your suffering from the cancer was in the end short. In the end you died the way that you lived, with love and quiet dignity. No matter how you felt, you never once were anything but loving. Such incredible strength of character that takes, such incredible love, such a wonderful soul. I will see you in heaven, and while for our family now it seems a long time and an awful hole left in the middle of the fabric of our lives, for you it probably will seem like the blink of an eye.  You took your candle and lit your world well, Grandma, and I am in loving awe at how wonderful and powerful your loving presence has been in our lives.

Goodbye Grandma, for just awhile.

Love, JoLene

Elaine Christine Rhodes is my maternal grandmother. She passed away this evening at 7:30 pm at the age of 91 from pancreatic cancer.

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10 Responses to “Goodbye Grandma, For Just Awhile”

  1. Ginger aka Beethoven Says:

    Sorry to hear that. Lots of guinea pig hugs and cuddles to you.
    We want you to know that Tils (our beloved resident cat) will be looking out for Grandma and she’ll have lots of parties and candies everyday!

  2. Katherine Says:

    I hope Mama and Grandma were there to meet her when she got to heaven. They would enjoy each other so much. They were all cut from the same cloth as women. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  3. Nancy J Says:

    Her light will continue to shine through you and to guide you when you have need.

  4. Gillian Says:

    What a wonderful, loving tribute. You’re lucky to have such excellent memories of her.

  5. Lynda in Oregon Says:

    Your loving tribute brought tears to my eyes and fond memories of my own grandmother. Perhaps Elaine will teach Louise how to make Keefleys (?) and Louise in return will teach Elaine the secret of homemade egg noodles . . .

    You obvioiusly treasure your memories, and well you should. Warm hugs to you and yours.

  6. Denise Says:

    So sorry to hear of your grandmother’s passing Jolene. Please accept my condolences. She’s ok now. Maybe you can take comfort in that.

  7. Carol Hurt Says:

    How beautifully you’ve written about a wonderful woman and grandma. I hope your memories will warm your heart as you think of her. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Ruth Sybers Says:

    What a wonderful tribute to your grandmother. Thinking of you as you weather this storm.

  9. Sharon Olson Says:

    There’s nothing better than a good Grandma, and it sounds like you had one of the best. I’m way old enough to be a grandma, and I still miss mine. Your beautiful memories of her will last forever. Mine have.

  10. Betsey Hoyt Says:

    My eyes filled up as I read your warm memories of your grandma. It sounds like she was a really great lady and the world needs more people like her.

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