These words were penned by my grandmother on the top of a page in her bible. She has gone over ahead of me, but what she has left behind her still lives. The other day , I read a quote that stuck with me.
"Love is stronger than death, even though it can't stop death from happening,
but no matter how hard death tries , it can't separate people from love.
It can't take away our memories either, so that, in the end
Life is stronger than death."
Though death sometimes seems to have the upper hand, our memories of a person's life remain, long after the earthly tabernacle has gone.
And so this is where I find myself, where I have been for the last couple of weeks ... exploring the deepest recesses of my memories, pulling out everything I can find. I guess that's why I like pictures so much...any pictures, because it's a tangible memory. I can hold it and look at it and...remember.
So this post is going to seem random and I am throwing proper grammar and punctuation and composition to the wind and will commence to my ramblings, because I want this stuff out of my head where things tend to get forgotten and out here where nothing is forgotten.
I was in the gas station during the last snow we had. I needed bread. The only loaf of bread on the shelf was Roman Meal Wheat Bread...grandmother NEVER bought any other kind of bread. She was definitely committed to brands on some things...just some things her and pop liked that she never compromised on. Fig Newtons, Roman Meal Bread, Vienna Sausages, Deviled Ham, Cracker Barrel Cheese (this was the MOST important as it was the key to her famous Macaroni and Cheese) and Sam's Cola.
I remember the way their garage smelled when they lived in Georgia. I remember the scratchy carpet in their house, brown shag, no doubt the latest fashion back whenever shag was the IN thing.
I remember her tea parties...which consisted of no tea whatsoever...just Fig Newtons and Cokes or Lemonade. Everyday...like clockwork when we were there visiting, if we werent running all over creation. See, we only saw them regularly 2-3 times a year, so when they had us they , especially Pop, tried to cram every bit of fun and activity they could, to show us a good time, and probably to make up for lost time.
I remember that she was a scheduled person. Her and Pop were masters of the routine. They had the same routine every day that something wasn't going on. I remember waking up to the smell of coffee in the morning and roaming around and finding no one in the main part of the house...but the bedroom door was closed for about an hour. When I was an adult, she revealed to me the secret goings on of those mornings when the house seemed empty. She was having her devotion time. She subscribed to Our Daily Bread Devotionals and gave me my first subscription to it. Her Bible is proof of her love for Christ. Filled with her thoughts from cover to cover.
I remember Jody and I took a trip down there when we were first married and her and I sat up late one nite, just going through her recipes. I will admit that these are my fondest memories. She taught me alot about cooking and taught me to set a table. I also remember when I actually taught her something! I taught her an easy way to make chicken and dumplings that Jody's Mom Pam had taught me. She loved them and raved about them, and it felt good to have her compliment me on something...she was an awesome cook, loved it with a passion. I spent that nite copying some of her signature recipes, things she was known for....Brown Rice that she always served with Roast and Gravy, Beef Salad (which is so good), Macaroni Pie, Poundcake (that was my dad's birthday cake on many occasions), Brocoli Cornbread, and Chocolate Chip Deelite.
Ask anyone in the family and they'll tell you she made the best spaghetti sauce...but she never would tell you the whole recipe...I have currently made 2 batches of sauce using what I know and still haven't figured it out! Maybe you just had to be her...yes, that's the missing ingredient.
We wrote letters to each other, our preferred communication. She loved writing notes, loved pretty stationary and always ended every note to me in this fashion...
"Grandmother is praying for you!!! I love you."
I remember the day I called her to tell her I had given my life to Jesus. She cried and I remember her yelling back to Pop and he said "Well, that's just good." And I remember her saying that God had answered her prayer. That she had prayed for me for so long. And to be honest, I think that is the thing I will miss the most about her not being here anymore...that she won't be praying for me. And, though I know heaven has gained something special, I can't help but wish I could hear her on the phone again saying "Remember Della, Grandmother Loves You."