Growing up with a grandma like her was such a gift. She always encouraged, always was gentle, always had a smile, always was thinking of something special to do for you. Even though Grandma and "Boppa" lived and hour and a half away, they were tremendously involved in our lives, even becoming very involved in the lives of our friends.
(Grandma and little Lydia)
As a grandma, she couldn't be improved upon in any way. Then she became a Great-Grandma and exceeded all known possibilities of greatness. Soon after Lydia was born, Grandma and Boppa moved in with my parents who live, literally, just down the road from us. We never could have imagined the blessing that would bring to us all. Grandma's world was the people she loved, and her great-grandbabies got every drop of love from her that she could possibly give.
One of the many blessings of knowing Grandma and Boppa was getting to witness one of the greatest love stories ever. These two lived out every day what it meant to truly be in love and to sacrificially love each other. Every word spoken between them was kind and loving, and every shared look was endearing or flirtatious. I've never known a couple more young at heart and I'll cherish the memories of their constant flirtations all my life. Thinking of my sweet Boppa carefully leading Grandma by the arm gently and patiently wherever they went was such a precious sight.
While Great-Gran loved every single one of her "grands and great-grands" as much as anyone could possibly imagine, there was a very special bond between Grandma (Marjorie) and her namesake, Esther Marjorie, who was also born on her birthday. Those two were two peas in a pod and I don't know if there was any way to tell who adored each other more. We were blessed with three priceless birthdays to celebrate these two together. It's hard to imagine next June without Esther's birthday buddy. Even during Grandma's last hours, Esther loved to be by her side, holding her hand or stroking her arm. Esther was one of the very last people Grandma responded to at the very end when we didn't think she was responsive at all.
Grandma's body starting shutting down just a few short weeks ago and the final days she declined so rapidly I think we were all somewhat in shock. All she had to say up to the end though was how blessed she was and how much she loved everyone around her. We were able to kiss her, love her, say our good-byes and then hours later she was gone. She was 92 years old.
Having Grandma in our lives was such a gift, such a treasure that it feels so selfish to wish for even one more moment with her. We cry because life without her feels just a little less beautiful. But really that's not true. Because of her we learned to appreciate the sweet smell of every rose, the value of every child's silly song, the joy of playing "piggies". She made this world more beautiful for all of us.
Grandma knew Jesus as her Lord and Savior and was ready to meet Him. The thought of her in heaven fills us with joy! One of my girls said it best when they said, "We are so sad Great-Gran is gone, but the only sad part is that we have to wait to see her. Soon we will all be together and we'll never be sad again.". We miss you now Grandma! But we'll see in in just a little while!