Friday, January 1, 2010
Goodbye, Cookie Grandma
It seems very strange to think of the world without my Grammy in it. I have had plenty of losses in my life--people I love, people who have been tremendously important in my life, but thinking of the world without Grandma Nelson is more like trying to think of the world without oceans, or without the color red. Much too big to comprehend.
Joyce Nelson Furniss, Oct 18th 1920--Dec 31st 2009.
Such a lot of lives are contained within that sentence. Joyce was the exact middle child--three older brothers, three younger brothers. She became the mother of 10 children, 9 of whom lived to maturity. All of them married nice people, and had some lovely children--a total of 45. FORTY-FIVE grandchildren.
Yes, she knew all their names. And middle names. And birthdays, and favorite stuff, and secrets, and how to kiss their owies better, and much, much more!
I am one of the older grandchildren. Actually, I am more of the "second wave". I wasn't old enough to be one of the "big cousins" for a very long time! My oldest cousin, Mike, is six months older than my youngest Aunt, Shanan (this happens surprisingly often in big families). They are about 8 years older than I am, which is a pretty hefty lead in the "being a big kid" stakes--although nothing like the lead I have on the youngest cousin Issac, who was born when I was 27.
The big cousins were remarkably slow on the "settling down and getting married" front, which means that my oldest child (BigGirl) is one of the oldest of the great-grandkids. In fact, they were so slow, that the last of them got married (for the first time) in 2009--and had his 40th birthday on his honeymoon.
However, Grammy FINALLY got some great-grandchildren. And, like compound interest, a little trickle at the beginning has turned into quite the tidal wave. 65 great grandchildren (more or less, I could have missed a couple!) With at least 3 more on the way, due this year.
Grammy spent her last week the way she preferred to spend all of her time--surrounded by family and lots of babies and toddlers. I am sure she sang them the "Grey Kitty Song" and I am jealous of that. Maybe they even got "Keemo-Keimo-Daimey-Wah"--lucky little skunks!
Grammy was one of the most truly selfless people in the world. We all learned great lessons about true love and service from her example. Even when we were terrible-two-year-olds or truly aweful fourteen year olds, we knew we were loved, completely and utterly by our Grammy--no conditions, no questions asked.
A great example of how to be a strong, loving, competent woman!