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.
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.