Yesterday I returned from Richmond, Virginia where we layed my grandmother to rest. She passed away peacefully and in her sleep before Christmas, and was then returned to Richmond where she could be laid to rest next to my late grandfather. It was a simple graveside memorial followed by a luncheon. I flew in Friday, stayed at the same hotel as my aunt and uncle, had the services on Saturday, and flew back home yesterday. Kind of a whirlwind, and much too short a visit.
I was able to meet my grandmother's sister, her children and their spouses, and Grandma's best friend. My brother was able to come down for the services and my dad's best friend was the one that toted me to and from the airport and also came for the services. (He'd known her since 1956 after all!)
Everything was very very nice. My aunt did a fabulous job arranging everything, yet keeping it simple.
I think the big shock for me...and it really shouldn't have been, but it was nonetheless...was how much my dad was discussed. He passed away in October 2007, and everyone was curious about his final days and such. And they told stories about how they remembered him and all that. Normally, these stories would be sweet. But they blindsided me a bit. I should have expected Dad's family to want to talk about him, especially on the heels of his mother's death. But I think I was so focused on Grandma and her life and death, that it never really occurred to me.
Grandma's life? Oh, she was such a spitfire! Always quite the Southern Belle, with a bit of a bite. ;) Think of the women from The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood. Grandma would have fit right in with that crew. So very sweet and proper. Yet she was able to tell you what she REALLY thought, and had a way of making you thank her for it, even if it was an insult. (Mr. Yarnworks says I have the same talent. hehe.)
I credit this Grandmother for giving me the desire to knit. I was 7 or 8 and begged her to teach me. But she refused, saying I was too young. Saying I was too young made me want to learn that much more, and lit the fire in me.
Grandma was known for her handwork. She embroidered, cross-stitched, knit, and crocheted. She was also VERY active in the Chesterfield County Homemaker's Association (in Richmond, VA). Apparently at the time there were 22 clubs. Now, only 2 remain. Her best friend says that one of those two is one that Grandmother founded. She also founded a knitting group that still meets to this day.
See? I get it all honestly. ;)