Tuesday, April 11, 2006



The photo on the far right shows my grandma Smith when she married my grandpa in 1936, and my aunt took the near photo quite recently. With an earthy beauty I would liken to Ingrid Bergman, my grandmother was a handsome and elegant woman, with capable strength and energy that defied the ravages of time and Alzheimer's. She was a quiet and unpretentious person, taking delight in her gardening and keeping a fastidious home. No animals were allowed inside her house, but she liked to have cats around the farm. An occasional crafty cat might find its way in, but would soon be sent airborne out grandma's door, courtesy of an obliging broom. Grandma was the very epitome of grit, and my dad told me many times of picking fruit with the family for money, and he and grandma each picked double the volume of anyone else. I remember as a young girl seeing her heading out to feed animals a long walk away with a 100 pound bag of feed on one shoulder and a five-gallon bucket of water in the other hand. She was the modern representation of a pioneer woman, uncomplaining of her lot and a comforting presence to all the family. She had bright, clear blue eyes and an adorable smile that was just on the verge of timid, as if she were a bit thrifty with the humor. She grew amazing strawberries and made toe-curling apple pie and chocolate cakes, all from scratch. I don't know how on earth she did it, but her potatoes and green beans were absolute miracles - they were the best ever, and something I'll miss the rest of my life. Grandma died about two hours ago, and I feel lucky and blessed to have had her for so long.
Albert Einstein said if he could see farther than others, it was because he was standing on the shoulders of giants. My grandma's strength, constancy and very goodness made her a giant to all those who knew and loved her. She was a lovely treasure and will be dearly missed.

15 comments:

Ranger Tom said...

My thoughts on immortality is this...

As long as you keep those memories alive, tell the stories, good, bad and the ugly, they're never really gone are they?

Your grandmother will live on forever in the memories you hold dear and cherish... And share, like you di with us and this few memories.

Thanks so much for sharing.

nongirlfriend said...

Oh God, what a loving, sweet tribute. I hope you share it with your family.

I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts go out to you and your family. Big hug.

hoosierboy said...

I am sorry for your loss. My Grandmother died a year ago this week, I miss her terribly.

phlegmfatale said...

ranger tom - good point - yes, she'll always be with me. You're very sweet.

and thank you, too, nongirlfriend for your kind words. My sister and my dad read my blog, so I know they will see it.

hoosierboy, thanks hon, and sympathies for the loss of your grandma, too. Grandmas are one of the best things in life, and I'm eternally grateful for mine.

Kelly said...

Your grandmother sounded like quite a lady. How old was she, if you don't mind me asking? She has a beautiful face, both young and old. I'd call that aging gracefully. Thank you for sharing all the things about her. I'm so sorry to hear about her passing.

LJ said...

She was very beautiful, PF. And this is such a very moving tribute to her life.
I'm sorry for your loss - and glad that you have such beautiful memories of her.

Tam said...

:(

I'm so sorry.

You were blessed with a great Grandma.

Becky said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Even though we somewhat "prepare" ourselves as our loved ones get older, it never really dulls the pain. She sounds like a great woman.

phlegmfatale said...

og - I think she was 87 or 88. And despite all the years working in the sun, her skin was always beautiful. Thanks for your kind words.

lj, tam, and becky & everyone again - thank you for taking time to say such kind and sweet things. My gran is so precious to me and although the loss is tremendous and makes my heart ache, it feels good to know what a well-lived life she had, and what a tremendously good person she has always been. Your kindness at this time has been a great comfort to me. :)

Charlie said...

It was great, strong American women like your Grandma who made the great, strong American women we have now.

I imagine she's shooing a cat somewhere right now . . .

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oh my dear, I am so sorry for your loss.
What a beautiful moving tribute you penned for your grandmother. As lucky as you are to have had such a wonderful, strong, beautiful woman for your grandmother, she was equally lucky to have had such a caring granddaughter.
Bless her memory.

The Phoenix said...

What a great memory of your grandmother. My prayers go out to you and your family.

Now I have a craving for apple pie.

phlegmfatale said...

admiral - yup, those cats don't have a chance when she gets after them

barbara - thank you so much, and you are too kind. She had 15 grandchildren, 24 great granchildren, 2 great-greats and 2 more on the way, and we all adored her.

phoenix - Thanks hon. Thanks again to everyone. We head out to Arkansas in the morning. My grandpa asked me to sing at the funeral and I'm going to try my best. It's lovely to consider a beautiful well-lived life of kindness and strength.

Zelda said...

I am so sorry. But you've made me remember my own grandmother, and I appreciate that very much. Take care.

phlegmfatale said...

thanks zelda. bless you.