Saturday, July 28, 2007

My "Grandma" and a special visit.

My 91 year old grandma passed away a week ago and my husband and I were able to be a part of her funeral on Wednesday in California. We made the quick trip leaving early early Tuesday morning and returning on a red eye flight Wednesday night. Not a very good idea for two people who don't do the stay up all night thing very well. The funeral services were beautiful and the spot where she is buried is high on top of a hill directly under a huge tree right next to my grandpa. My husband did a beautiful job sharing a message of hope.


I have been thinking alot about our short trip. My brother was able to make it home from Iraq and it was wonderful to see him. We saw some of our siblings, cousins, uncles and other family members we haven't seen in years. But we made one very special stop.


Just three blocks from the ocean in downtown Long Beach on the third floor of an extremely modest apartment building lives a man who I have only known throughout my life as "daddy Jim". My mom married my dad when I was eighteen months old. He is my dad. I have only ever thought of him as my dad. He has been everything a dad should be and I am thankful that God blessed me with him. But obviously I had another "dad". That is where the name "daddy Jim" came from. Off and on as a young child I would go and visit my biological dad and somewhere he was given the name "daddy Jim" as not to confuse me since I called my dad "dad". Fast forward to today and leaving out a whole lot of details and history, I had not seen "daddy Jim" in over ten years. Last Monday when I was finishing up preparing for this trip, the Lord impressed upon my heart to contact him. I did! I know he is getting older and I didn't want to have any regrets for not making the effort to see him. I have known I needed to for several years but have not done so. And so on Tuesday morning after landing in Los Angeles we were on our way to Long Beach to visit him. I will save the details of our visit for another post since it was extremely emotional for me and I am not sure I could type through the tears.


I think it was wonderfully ironic that I would choose to go and seek him out before attending my grandma's funeral. She was my "dad's" mother and as a young girl she would often ask me if I ever hear from "daddy Jim". She genuinely cared and hoped that I would be able to see him and never never treated me as if I wasn't her very own granddaughter.


My brothers and I loved going to her house. It was always an adventure or at least we were hoping it would be. There was usually some buried treasure she was uncovering in some box. She could usually be found out in the yard pulling weeds or working on moving stuff around. She had a lot of "stuff". She never drove and could clean out a mayonnaise jar to the last drop. She loved dolls and scooped up all the orphans from the choc store downtown. She was an incredible seamstress. I have two handmade Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls to prove it. She made the best cinnamon rolls and my absolute favorite was her huge ginger snaps that were always piled high in a large glass jar with a slice of bread at the top to keep the cookies soft. But the thing I will most likely remember most about my grandma was Norwegian "lefse". I would beg her to make it. She made them from leftover mashed potatoes, shortening and flour. They looked like tortillas when cooked and tasted wonderful when sprinkled with a little butter and sugar.







Thank you grandma for all the wonderful memories!










12 comments:

Susanne said...

Chris, I'm so sorry to hear of your Grandma passing away. She sounds like a wonderful lady and you have some lovely memories of her.

I'm glad you were able to make the visit with your Daddy JIm that God was laying on your heart.

Judy said...

What beautful memories, Chris. You and Todd share the "lefse" memory. His grandmother passed a few years ago, and when asked if there was something of hers that he would like to have, he asked for the "lefse" recipe. Now we have started a tradition of making it at Christmas time with the boys!

Thanks for sharing these events. I look so forward to getting to know you more!

momzie said...

What a beautiful memorial to her. I know it just scratches the surface of all you remember and feel. It's so hard to be in that bubble of time around a death and funeral and then have to hit the ground running again when it's over.
How very, very precious about daddy Jim. God sees all your tears and all of the emotions they stem from. Please share when you can.
Love you.

Cyndi said...

Chris, I've been thinking about you this past week. I'm SO glad your brother was able to make it. And it was "icing on the cake" that you were able to visit Daddy Jim. Isn't God so faithful, not only to prompt you but to make it possible?

And, oh, the memories of your Grandma made my eyes brim with tears. The memory of my sweet Nana is with me everyday, even though she went to be with Jesus a few years ago. I know you must be feeling many different emotions right now.

Thanks for sharing this!

Linda said...

It is never easy to say goodby (even if it's just for a while) to someone so loved and loving. I'm sorry she's gone Chris.
I know the Lord prompted you to visit you Daddy Jim. He will use that to bless each of you in a very special way.
So glad your brother got to be there. When you write to him tell him how much we appreciate his service.

Heather said...

What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing this.

Your Daddy Jim reminds me a lot of my husband's father situation, and his real dad's name was Jim.

Mindy said...

I'm sorry to hear of her passing. What a wonderful tribute to her though. 91 years - WOW. How much of this world she saw change!
Thanks for sharing this!
In HIM -
Mindy

Heth said...

Beautiful memories Chris.

T said...

great memories of your grandmother... my thoughts are with you.

Tammy said...

Beautiful beautiful post...I am so sorry to hear of your grandmother's passing. She sounds like such a wonderful grandma and I loved seeing her photos.

Your story of seeing your "daddy Jim" was very moving to read...

Blessings!

Lisa writes... said...

What a wonderful legacy...

And what a heart of love and compassion that reached out to "Daddy Jim" when you could've just as easily (or more easily in fact) slipped him right on by...

Great post.

Rachel Anne said...

That was a beautiful post. What a wonderful legacy you have from her. Thanks for sharing. Lefse makes great memories!