This Thanksgiving, I will be giving thanks for my precious grandmother. On Monday she joined my granddaddy in heaven. Grandmother was the most stylish woman I have ever known, a truly amazing lady who undoubtably influenced my life more than anyone else. Today's blog post is in her honor, as I am sharing some things that she loved.
My granddaddy. Grandmother and Granddaddy adored each other and treated each other with the utmost respect and kindness. Their love for each other was an inspiration to everyone who knew them. He loved to surprise her with gifts from his travels (which included a rickshaw from India and a Chinese Junk that, much to her embarrassment, he named for her and docked in North Carolina), and she loved to cook for him and care for him as he grew older. He passed away 15 years ago, and she told me on Friday how excited she was to see him again.
Here they are at the Copacabana in New York in the 1950's. (Notice the palm leaf wallpaper!)
Traveling. Although both my grandparents grew up on rural farms in the Carolinas, as an adult Grandmother often accompanied Granddaddy on his business trips around the world. She has been to every continent except Antarctica. Once when Granddaddy was tied up in meetings in London, Grandmother flew down to Kenya by herself so she could see the animals and take some pictures. She had an adventurous spirit and lived life to its fullest.
Cooking and Entertaining. Grandmother was the epitome of a gracious hostess. Granddaddy would often invite work colleagues (as many as 50 at a time!) home for dinner unannounced, and Grandmother would welcome them into her home and cook an amazing meal for them. She would show the same hospitality towards a missionary or needy member of the community that she would show for a diplomat or Senator- she treated everyone with the same respect and graciousness.
Color. You would never ever find my grandmother wearing black, neutrals or pastels- she loved to wear bright colors, especially pink and turquoise. In her portrait hanging in the living room (which she thought was ridiculous, but my granddaddy insisted), she is wearing a beautiful turquoise dress. After she was well into her 80's and her eyesight wasn't so strong, my sister and I would go over to her house and help her plan outfits, from the jackets to the scarves to the skirts to the shoes and jewelry. We would write down each element of the outfit, and she would wear them all exactly as we planned. She taught me so much about fashion, always saying, "Wear clothes tight enough to show you are a woman, but loose enough to show you are a lady."
Gardening. Having grown up on the farm, Grandmother always had a huge vegetable garden at home in Charlotte. She had a fantastic sense of humor and would laugh as the neighbors rolled their eyes at the tractor plowing up her backyard so she could plant beans, corn, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, and cantaloupe each spring. I have such vivid memories of her standing out in the garden picking vegetables while wearing a dress, hose, and high heels.
Family. Grandmother made family a priority over all else. Because of my grandparents, my whole extended family has gone on a beach trip together every single year since before I was born. Everyone naturally gathered at Grandmother's house for holidays, and we are so thankful that she was at home, surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren when she passed away.
My husband and baby boy having dinner with Grandmother (in pink!) 2 weeks ago
Faith. Grandmother showed the love of Christ to everyone she met. Never pushy or judgmental, she had a quiet faith that was so pure and sincere. She kept a notepad by her bed where she wrote the names of people she wanted to remember to pray for each night before she went to sleep.
We MoS girls don't usually share that much about our personal lives here, but thank you for allowing me to share a little bit about my special grandmother with you. Though my heart is aching, I hope I gave you a glimpse of how special she was and how thankful I am to have had her in my life. This Thanksgiving, please remember to give thanks for those who are precious to you.