Grandma Betty

This weekend, my family and I are preparing to celebrate my grandma’s life. After over ten years of struggling with Alzheimer’s, she is finally at peace.

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At my cousin’s wedding a few years back.

My cousin asked me to give her one word to describe grandma. My word: playful. My grandpa never loved playing games, and neither did my mom, so that usually meant it was me and grandma playing Rummy 500 (or sometimes 1000…or 1500…), The Game of Life, Tiddlywinks, or even working on a puzzle together. This is how I will always remember her, happy and teasing.

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After my last Original Cast performance, senior year of college.

Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease. I remember when it was just starting, and she knew she was forgetting things. It was heart breaking. Later though, it became a blessing that she didn’t know it anymore. She was happy, even if she didn’t know who you were. She said “I love you, too” no matter what. And she played solitaire and did word search puzzles religiously to “stay sharp,” she would say. I admire her incredible life and 69-year marriage to my grandfather. We may not have been a huge family, but she raised to amazing girls (my mom included), had five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. I still love this super-90’s family photo we took – I’m the youngest, down in front, along with my four cousins. (Sorry for the fuzzies…it was a screenshot.)

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Family photo circa 1997ish maybe?

Words just can’t express how much we will all miss her. The truth is though, I’ve missed her for a really long time. At least now I know she’s with Jesus, who she loved and taught us to love. So grateful to have had 30 whole years with you, grandma. Be at peace!

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On their wedding day in 1946.

Grandma Ruth

Grandma Ruth passed away on Monday evening, and today her life will be celebrated as she is laid to rest.

Grandma Ruth was not my grandmother. I didn’t grow up playing games with her or eating meals with her or celebrating holidays with her. And she didn’t hold me as a baby or change my diapers or watch me grow up. But to my sweet boyfriend Jonathan – and to Heather and Matt – she has been a grandmama. To Vicki and Kathy, a mama. To Vick, a wife. And to so many others, a sister, aunt, cousin, and friend.

She was the definition of a faithful, steadfast, and loving Christian woman. No one in her family has any ounce of a doubt about where she is now – joyfully in the arms of the Lord, frolicking with her husband and the many other loved ones who have passed before her. God has amazing plans for those of us who love Him, and as sad as we are for ourselves when we lose someone, it is a comfort to be able to rejoice in the TRUTH of our Lord JESUS and His promise of heaven.

It is good.

What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived – these are the things God has prepared for those who love him. -1 Corinthians 2:9

 

{Grandma Ruth (center), with her sister Martha and brother Danny, July 4th 2011}