?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
27 September 2016 @ 11:47 pm
A Bit Of Loveliness.  
As I write this - Tuesday, September 27th - it is one month since my Grandma Ava passed away. It's been a long month of funeral planning and estate selling. Of family drama and family love. Of dealing with the grief of watching my childhood safe space get tucked away and put up for sale, the family farm, the place where my heart was able to find a true home. Of finding time, moments, briefly, to grieve and mourn the loss of my grandmother. She was the last of my grandparents to go and it feels like a chapter of our family just closed shut. She was an amazing, adventurous, witty, funny, flirty, stubborn woman, who made our family everything it is. I will always, always love her and be grateful to her for everything she gave me in life, everything she taught me, everything she was.

I wanted to thank you all for your support this past month. It means so much to me. I hope to be onto happier times and I wanted to start with two wonderful memories - one of grandma herself, and one of her mother, my great-grandmother.

Now you all know my sister and I are Cat Ladies, indeed. And my grandmother, oh she loved all animals. But she loved cats best of all. Among the photos we found when sorting through her albums, we came across this gem, showing, in fact, just how much of a Cat Lady my grandma truly was. As my sister said, we come by it honestly.



On another note, my great-grandma wrote poetry, so there is another thing I come by honestly, though I think my great-grandma's are far better than mine. I never knew her - I think she had passed before I was born - but I wish that I had. I wish we had been able to share our words with one another. Grandma had a folder of her mother's poetry and we sorted through them to find something to read at Grandma's service. This one that was read at the opening of Grandma's service was utterly beautiful and perfect and had us all in tears. How, well, poetic that it was her own mother's words that sent her on her way.


Grandma’s Specs

Her specs lay by her Bible
On a stand beside her bed,
We found them when they called us
And said that she was dead
Tenderly we picked them up,
Wishing that we could see
The beauty that she found in life,
If that could ever be.

For when the storm was raging
She’d look at us and smile,
“Dear child leave off your fretting,
The sun shines all the while.”
She’d always find some beauty
In every wretched place;
She’d find a bit of loveliness,
However plain the face.

Her specs must hold some magic
Or else how could she see,
The beauty in a barren plain
Where beauty scarce could be.
I wished that she’d explained it
Ere she must needs depart;
Me thinks the magic in her specs
Was the love in Grandma’s heart.

- Jennie Betts Rapp (1941)


Thank you, my friends. It makes me smile to think of how delighted Grandma Ava would be to have people read her mother's words like this. (She might be less pleased of people seeing her holding a lap full of cats, especially if she thought even a hair was out of place on her head, but I'm going to get a print of that made and frame it for my shelf, yes I am.)

Grandma, I'll be along to the farm for a visit with you and Grandpa again, I can promise you that.
 
 
 
Kate: taking wingceitfianna on September 28th, 2016 04:21 am (UTC)
I love that picture especially the kitty looking right at the camera and her laughter. She looks like she was a wonderful woman to know. That poem is fantastic too. *hugs*
dodger_sister: hope and lovedodger_sister on December 6th, 2016 11:08 pm (UTC)
I love that picture especially the kitty looking right at the camera and her laughter. She looks like she was a wonderful woman to know. That poem is fantastic too. *hugs*

You know Grandma always kept saying she wasn't going to get another cat, that she couldn't handle the heartbreak when they passed, and yet somehow strays kept finding there way to the farm. (Or family members would sneak them out there, lol.). All the cats somehow knew that Grandma would warm up the milk for them, just like we always knew Grandma would give us whatever we needed to be warm and safe. Once I remember Grandpa going to set out the saucer of milk for their cat Lucy and Grandma yelling at him, "Lynn, what are you doing? That has to be heated up first!" /Hugs/
Trigger Warning: Lifematchboximpala on September 28th, 2016 04:24 am (UTC)
Wow, that poem was just lovely. Thanks for sharing it.

And I loved the photo of your grandma with the cats. You and Sis definitely inherited that gene.
dodger_sister: hope and lovedodger_sister on December 6th, 2016 11:14 pm (UTC)
Wow, that poem was just lovely. Thanks for sharing it.

Thank you. This reminds me that I was going to look into who got Great Grandma Rapp's folder of poetry. I would love to have it to type up and save. Since none of GG Rapp's grandsons were poets - not by a long shot, lol - the folder should probably end up in the hands of one of the three great-granddaughters who are semi-wanna-be writers!

And I loved the photo of your grandma with the cats. You and Sis definitely inherited that gene.

Of all the personality traits I inherited from Grandma, I am most proud of my love of cats and my dirty sense of humor! ;)
Shireboundshirebound on September 28th, 2016 04:34 am (UTC)
I love that poem, and I love that photo. Thank you for sharing your grandma and great-grandma with us.
dodger_sisterdodger_sister on December 6th, 2016 11:15 pm (UTC)
I love that poem, and I love that photo. Thank you for sharing your grandma and great-grandma with us.

Thank you! :). Grandma would get such a tickle out of being 'featured' on my 'internet blog'. Lol. <3
bugeyedmonsterbugeyedmonster on September 28th, 2016 02:55 pm (UTC)
Sorry for the loss of your grandmother. Love the poem and the cat picture.

There is an LJ community where they post kitty pictures. (kitty_pics, I think?) Maybe you could post that picture of your grandma with the cats.



Edited at 2016-09-28 02:56 pm (UTC)
dodger_sister: hope and lovedodger_sister on December 6th, 2016 11:19 pm (UTC)
Sorry for the loss of your grandmother. Love the poem and the cat picture.

Thank you. <3. She was an amazing woman. For some reason, her loss has hit me harder than my other grandparents, perhaps because it came so suddenly, with no illness predating it.

There is an LJ community where they post kitty pictures. (kitty_pics, I think?) Maybe you could post that picture of your grandma with the cats.

I did put it up on Tumblr and it got a little love there - Tumblr is rather fond of kitty pics and old photos (tumblr really does love 'antique photos') - and I will probably post it again come her birthday in May!
lindahoylandlindahoyland on September 28th, 2016 07:17 pm (UTC)
A lovely poem and photo. Hugs.
dodger_sister: hope and lovedodger_sister on December 6th, 2016 11:21 pm (UTC)
A lovely poem and photo. Hugs.

/hugs back/. I am sure my Great Grandma can't even fathom what having her poetry read on 'the internet' - something that didn't exist when she was alive - is like, but she would be pleased to get so much love on it! <3
crucis01crucis01 on September 29th, 2016 04:37 pm (UTC)
Hi sweetie! The picture was fantastic. She looks like such a special lady. I know you miss her. I won't give you any platitudes cause they are a reason they are called platitudes. Each person grieves the way they grieve.
I'm sorry you lost your physical safe place. we all need one of those. Mine was the classroom.
Please remember a lot of people are pulling for you. You may not know us individually, but we are here.
HUGS!!!!
dodger_sister: hope and lovedodger_sister on December 6th, 2016 11:23 pm (UTC)
Hi sweetie! The picture was fantastic. She looks like such a special lady. I know you miss her. I won't give you any platitudes cause they are a reason they are called platitudes. Each person grieves the way they grieve.
I'm sorry you lost your physical safe place. we all need one of those. Mine was the classroom.
Please remember a lot of people are pulling for you. You may not know us individually, but we are here.
HUGS!!!!


You always leave such wonderful messages whenever I am having a hard time emotionally, thank you.

The family farm still hasn't sold yet, but my sister and I have decided not to go back out there again. We want to remember it how it was, not empty and set-dressed for sale.

The classroom? As in when you were a student or were you a teacher?
Jo Ann: Angel hug sadyeuxdebleu on October 6th, 2016 04:45 am (UTC)
A beautiful photo and a lovely poem. Your grandmother and great-grandmother must both have been wonderful women.
dodger_sister: hope and lovedodger_sister on December 6th, 2016 11:26 pm (UTC)
A beautiful photo and a lovely poem. Your grandmother and great-grandmother must both have been wonderful women

You know, I never was sad about not having the chance to know my great grandma, until I discovered she wrote such wonderful poetry and now I feel sad to have missed the chance to talk 'words' with her. But I was blessed to know my grandma and it is because of her encouragement (read: riding my ass, lol!) that I am coming up on finishing my first ever book!

They were both extraordinary women! <3
Ironlily - Making My Marquevikingprincess on October 6th, 2016 03:35 pm (UTC)
Lovely poem.
dodger_sister: hope and lovedodger_sister on December 6th, 2016 11:28 pm (UTC)
Lovely poem.

Thank you. Great Grandma Rapp died before the Internet even existed - now I wonder what she would think of people all across the country, nay the world, reading her words! <3