Friday, August 26, 2011

The Greatest Woman I Ever Knew

Do you ever get bored and Google yourself?  Maybe you Google your friends and family or frenemies and enemies just to see what interesting tidbits of information you can find.  I have to admit that I do this even though I rarely find anything interesting - an old high school track meet record with a friend's name, the Facebook groups my sister joined in college, information about a book that has my incredibly common first and last names in the title.  Nothing substantial.  And, this is just how I like it.

However, earlier today I Googled my Gramma who passed in February 2006.  I found a listing of people from my hometown who are deceased but not listed as buried in any local cemeteries.  (To clarify, my Gramma was cremated.)  This is one of the first Google findings to bother me.  I was hurt because her name was printed incorrectly.  Maybe this shouldn't bother me as much as it does, and anyone who knew her knows she wouldn't have gone to the trouble of attempting to get this fixed because it really doesn't matter.  But, anyone who knew her also knows that she deserves more attention and respect than errors forever printed in her obituary.
This stack of Gramma's Bibles and books with her
fingerprint-smudged glasses in their case on top decorate my bookshelf.
My Gramma was easily the best person I have ever known and will ever know.  Her strength and compassion were incomparable, she worked hard to earn what she had in life, and she maintained a warm and positive attitude even through struggles.  While I was growing up, my Gramma worked three jobs, one of which was for the Department of Children's Services.  She was active in her church, took walks with her sister nearly every night, loved on her grandbabies as often as possible, maintained gardens of tomatoes, sunflowers, and various plants, and prepared meals for sick neighbors.  She was not a woman who could sit still or ignore something that needed to be done or someone who needed help.
One of my favorite pictures of my Gramma,
loving on my younger siblings.
Sadly, her ability to help others and remain active was taken from her as she fiercely battled an aggressive lung cancer.  She became weak and sick, but her faith remained strong.  She taught me more about life during the five years she was dying than during the thirteen years I spent with her while she was healthy.  I learned from her that who I have in my life is more important than what I have in my life.  What I do in life is more important that what I can get out of life.  It is better to be happy and loved than to have power or wealth.  It is necessary to work hard for what I want so that I can truly appreciate what I earn.   Most importantly, she taught me that although I may never understand the purpose behind certain hardships or fully comprehend what is planned for me, I must have faith that everything does have a purpose and God does have a plan for me (Jeremiah 29:11).

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