By Marcia who lives in Northern Virginia with her Goldendoodle/therapist, Amber.
Dear Grandma Zada,
Dad called me at 6:30 am today. That’s the time of day when a phone call isn’t good news. With my stomach in a knot I answered, “Hi, Dad.” His quiet voice confirmed my fear … you were gone. All I’m left with now are memories but what wonderful memories they are.
I can barely put into words how much I loved being at your house, in your kitchen, in the basement. Spending hours in the “back bedroom” reading through National Geographic magazines that were at least 10 years old. Playing dress up with your old dresses. Putting on pageants at Christmas – singing songs with Aunt Lisa playing the piano. You and Grandpa made the basement a place that would entertain your grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even great-great grandchildren for hours at a time. The ping-pong tournaments were legendary and the snooker frames competitive. There was always plenty of food and you made sure everyone ate – sometimes more than they wanted. I’ll never forget that you always took the time to make divinity for me without nuts since I don’t like them.
While you never had a “job,” you were one of the hardest working people I’ve ever known. Being a farmer’s wife isn’t easy but you made it seem as though it was. You raised four children, took care of Grandpa, grew a garden and volunteered as much time as you could to your church. Your devotion to your family, friends and faith was truly inspiring.
I never told you how much your unconditional love meant to me. It was always there even when I didn’t deserve it. The nights that I spent in your house, in Lisa’s bedroom, were my refuge. I felt safe and loved. Waking up late to the smell of pancakes and bacon hearing Grandpa grousing about me being “lazy” for still being in bed at 8 am. After breakfast we’d do whatever work needed to be done in the garden. Snapping beans and shelling peas were my favorite. They were probably yours, too, since they kept me busy for hours. You taught me to bake with your fancy built in mixer. In the winter, you’d set up a fire in the wood stove so I could sit in the breezeway and read Lisa’s Nancy Drew books. In the summer you’d bring me snacks while I floated in the pool trying to get a tan. Later in the after noon you’d give me aloe vera to put on my sunburn.
You taught me love, grace, forgiveness and so much more. You taught me to always shut the passenger side door before backing out of the garage (that little episode proved exactly how much Grandpa loved you!) I’ll forever miss you and our times in the kitchen and the sewing room. Tonight I’ll wrap myself up in the quilt you made for me when I was born and know that you’ll always be with me.