Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Passing Away

I'm sitting here at my computer waiting for news on the funeral arrangements. My Grandma Vance passed away this morning at 8:25 a.m. It's a blessing to know she's with our Lord, and free of pain and her broken earthly body.

Before I become to morose in my writting I thought I'd take some time to share some wonderful stories of my Grandma with all of you.

You see, I grew up living about an hour drive over the mountains from my Grandparent Vance's (my mom's parents). I remember as a child making the trip out to see them atleast once every other month. I loved being out at their farm, nestled as it was at the base of this beautiful mountain. A spring lay nearby and a river wasn't too far from the house.

We use to go climb the mountain, and swim the river. Also, each summer we would go spend one week with our Grandparents (me and my siblings). This was a week for my parents to relax without us kids. I believe my grandparent's home was affectionately knicknamed "Camp Vance".

Grandma and Granddad spoiled us kids so. Grandma use to let us eat whatever we wanted, and when we wanted it, while we stayed with them. This of course led to an occassional upset tummy. I remember one time wanting to eat candy all day and then for dinner I decided to have some cream of mushroom soup. You can imagine what my Grandma did when later that night all that candy and mushrooms came back up, she called my Mom to pick me up :)

I remember as a child my Mom asking my Grandma to please not let us eat so much candy and to make sure we brushed our teeth. But to be honest Grandma didn't have the heart to tell her Grandchildren no.

Don't worry we didn't end up spoiled brats, atleast I hope not :) Grandma was so loving you wanted to be good for her.

When I first started spending the week with her I was uneasy when night time came. It was really the first time I had ever spent the night away from my parents. Grandma was great though, she had the children's activity books (a set that was like children's encyclopedias) and she would read me stories from the books and show me different craft projects we could do the following day. As she read to me, she would climb into bed and cuddle with me. I'll always remember how nice it was to cuddle with my Grandma before going to sleep.

Several years ago my Grandma gave me that set of children's encyclopedias. I look forward to reading those books at bedtime with children and maybe even my children someday.

Grandma loved to cook!! On those Sunday afternoons when we would drive out to visit Grandma and Granddad my Mom would make sure Grandma understood we were coming having eaten lunch already. If Mom tell her that, Grandma was sure to have the largest meal set before us that we had seen since the last time she set a meal before us. A typical meal for Grandma to prepare would be a couple of main dishes followed by half a dozen or more different sides, and then your choice of desserts. Less was not more with Grandma. MORE WAS MORE!! No one ever left her table hungry.

After dinner we would thank her for the meal, and her famous response was, "I don't know why you're thanking me, you barely ate a thing." This is of course after we had eaten one rather large plateful, followed by the second helping she made sure everyone took.

She also never forgot anyone's favorite food dish. She would make a special effort to have that dish on the table each time you were there for a meal. She knew I loved seafood, and especially crab, so she would make me this wonderful Crab Casserole. The following is one of her Crab Casserole recipes:

1 pound crab meat
12 saltine crackers - crushed
1 stick butter or margarine
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon mustard
1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce
1 egg - beaten

Melt butter in dish - Add above - Sprinkle paprika - Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

I don't believe my Grandma ever knew a stranger. She was the most welcoming woman I've ever known. She had a real gift for hospitality, and I learned alot about how you treat someone in your home from her. She always gave of herself to spend time with others. She showed you hospitality through her food and her time. She would stop cleaning or any other task to sit and talk with you. She also made you feel welcome in her kitchen as she went about her work there. No matter what you knew she was listening and she cared.

I'm thankful that God saw fit to give me almost 28 years with her. She was my special Grandma!


Jill said...

She sounds like a special grandma, Jen. I'm sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing your personal memories with your grandma. It even gave me a feeling of peace and love getting to know your grandma through your writing.

Love You!

Stacey said...

I am so sorry for your loss Jen but I am really happy your grandma gets to spend her first christmas in heaven very soon. I am sending you great big hugs. Thanks for sharing your grandma with us in your post.
Loves, S