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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

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.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing with us about your special and spirited grandmother! It certainly reminds us what to be thankful for this holiday season. What a wonderful woman I am lucky to have had the chance to meet a few months ago. Thinking of you and your family. Xoxo

Mr. Goodwill Hunting said...

Thanks so much for sharing. Truly a touching and uplifting story. The great people in our lives makes us who we are.

http://mrgoodwillhunting.blogspot.com

jandjhome said...

What a beautiful post. I am crying as I type. I think about my Mamama and my Abuelo all the time. They were so influential to me and the woman that I've become. Thank you for taking the time to write this, it made me take a momemt to count my blessings. Happy Thanksgiving.

A Flair for Vintage Decor said...

What a beautiful statement on your grandmother and her life! I have a very similar relationship with my grandmother-- and you have reminded me of how thankful and lucky we are to have these special people in our lives! My thoughts are with you and your family. Take care, Caroline

Nicole said...

Thank you for sharing the story of your grandmother's rich and full life and her influence on you. I love that she kept a bedside notepad with the names of those on her prayer list, and I think I will start doing the same today - and adding both you and her to my list. Happy Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post. I am so lucky to have met your Grandmother. She was truly the most gracious, interesting, wonderful woman. I see so much of her in you. xoxo Lou

Anonymous said...

What a lovely tribute to your special grandmother. May God wrap His loving arms around you as you mourn your great loss. She sounds extraordinary... a blessing to all who knew her.

Danielle@Fresh Quince said...

Thank you so much for sharing! That was truly heart warming and I would've loved to have met your grandmother to exchange gardening tips...I'm sure she had a lot after so many years. What a beautiful and kind woman she was and I wish I had the confidence to whip up a meal for 50. You are a lucky woman to have had her in your life. Happy Thanksgiving!

Vickie H. said...

Such a beautiful and heartfelt post at this special time of year. I am so sorry for your recent loss but celebrate for you this great woman's presence in your life. I, too, had an amazing grandmother who lived to be 92 years old. She has been gone almost 10 years and I still miss her every day. I have no doubt that the arrival of your grandmother in heaven was a RED LETTER DAY for the Lord, having another member of His faithful claim their reward. May God bless and keep each of you in the days and weeks ahead. The tears we shed today are a testament to the impact these wonderful women had in our lives. How fortunate we have been!

kayce hughes said...

What a wonderful person. It was a treat and inspiration to meet her..even if only in your blog.
thanks

Julie said...

What a lovely tribute to your grandmother. She sounds like a truly remarkable woman that clearly put her family first. I am so sorry for your loss, and I know she'll be missed by a great many. Thank you for sharing this with everyone. xoxoxo

Rebecca (Reluctant Floridian) said...

Sarah this is so sweet, it made me cry too. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts. xoxorebecca

Pagoda Press said...

Wonderful post today...I too will start the prayer list at my bedside. I am thankful for the gifts your grandmother is sharing with people who didn't even know her. Have a Happy Thanksgiving. -tessa

kka said...

i'm so sorry for your loss. she sounds like an amazing woman and she looks so happy and young in her recent picture. my thoughts are with you and your family.

The Stylish Chick said...

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful trbute and wonderful story about your Grandmother. Like you, my Grandma Betty is the most stylish person I've ever known...and the most influential on me and my path in life. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs to you, Barbara

Betsy said...

What a lovely tribute! She was so sweet and clearly an inspiration for you, your mom and sister--all very stylish, gracious and wonderful women. Thinking of y'all.

MLB said...

Beautiful, my sweet sister. We were blessed to have such a wonderful Grandmother loving us for so many years. Your sweet words help me remember all our wonderful memories. I love you.

spark! (Ada-Marie) said...

Your grandmother sounds amazing -- you are a lucky girl. Sending you a huge virtual hug. Wishing you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving. xxoo

traci zeller designs said...

Oh, Sarah, I am so sorry. What a lovely post in memory of your special grandmother! She was clearly an amazing woman, and you are so lucky to have had her in your life. She will be with you always!

Nathalie Hachet @ La Baguette Magique said...

A grandmother is a very special being, a mother full of the wisdom and knowledge of life who can provide us with insight and courage when we lack it. Her passing will not take away fond memories, only increase our respect and appreciation of her.

I am certain that from wherever she stands right now, your grandma will be very proud of you and very touched by your words about her.

Jenn @ Living Luxe for Less said...

What a lovely post Sarah. I still remember meeting your grandmother at your bridesmaid luncheon, and what an epitome of style, elegance and grace she was...I see so much of her in you, and I also teared up reading about your many wonderful memories with her. I know she is looking down on you now, and is so proud of you, your family, and all you have accomplished. She was most certainly in my Thanksgiving prayers. I love you! XO, Jenn

Lauren said...

Sarah - What a beautiful post and tribute to your grandmother. Thank you so much for sharing. It reminded me on this holiday just how lucky I am to still have my 92 year old grandmother with us.

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