I have many pictures of my grandmother. In all of them she is beautiful and smiling. I have pictures from when she was a girl, pictures of her as a young mother, then a grandmother, finally, pictures from when she was old - a lifetime full of pictures put away in albums and boxes. But I have other pictures of my grandmother. Although not captured with a camera, these pictures were captured by my heart and I will carry them with me always.
I have a picture of myself sitting beside Granny at church when I was a little girl. After finishing a hymn, my sister or I told her that her voice was squeaky - she gave us a Certs to keep us quiet - and when it was time for the next hymn, her voice rang out again in praise of the Lord. I have a picture of her teaching Sunday School when my mother and aunt were girls. I can picture always seeing praying hands proudly displayed in her home. I have a picture of her saying the Lord's Prayer with my Opa at the time of his death. I have pictures of her caring for others in sickness and need, always willing to help people. I truly believe that Granny pleased God.
I have so many pictures of my granny with my family - playing rummy and dominoes, serving the foods that she knew were our favorites like pannas and coffeecake and pear pie, working on a jigsaw puzzle - the whole time knowing that Opa probably had the last piece in his pocket, teaching us to crochet and embroider, sitting out under the huge pecan trees on Holmgreen telling stories and wondering where did that red croquet ball go. I have pictures of her taking us as children to the Witte Museum, to picnics at Opa's park and to the zoo, where she and my Granny T. spoke to each other in German sometimes. I always wondered what they could have been saying about my sister and me, surely we were perfect children. I have a picture of going out to eat at Ryan's as a family and Granny being sure to take home a little treat for her Koozie.
I have a picture of Granny and Opa taking my mother out to Alpine to pick up my dad from college, and I have a picture of her admiring the roses that she so enjoyed on a trip with my aunt. I have pictures of Granny laughing and smiling at every family event -graduations, weddings and funerals. I have pictures of her warm and genuine welcome as each new member was added to her family. Each person in Granny's family knew without a doubt that she loved them dearly and cared about them and I know that Granny pleased her family. I have pictures of my granny with her friends. From my childhood, I have pictures of her cutting up with her friends at the bowling alley. I have a picture of her with the Galloping Grannies - her group of longtime friends that got together each month, one time enjoying a day at my parents˜ house with my mother and aunt. I picture her and Cleora, friends ever since childhood sharing so many memories. I have a picture of her sharing the daily newspaper with her friend down the street and checking up on her neighbors. I know that she was a true and loyal friend and I know that Granny pleased her friends. I have pictures of my granny and her beloved husband, George. I have a picture of them from their wedding day, just starting their lives together. From years later, I have a picture of Granny and Opa talking quietly in the kitchen of the house they built, while we grandkids drifted off to sleep on our cots in their bedroom. I have another picture of all of us being snuggled right between them in their bed, waking them up early the next morning. I have a picture of Granny and Opa at their 45th wedding anniversary, still so happy to be with each other. Granny was a good wife and a loving and faithful one. I know that Granny pleased her husband, my Opa.
I have all of these pictures, and so many more, in my heart. I also have a book that Granny made for me. It is one of my treasures. In it, are many pictures, but also, there is the key to Granny's life. She wrote down stories about her family, her childhood, her life - her history. But on one page, she wrote her plans for the future. Her plans weren't to become rich or to have great possessions or to become famous. This is what she wrote and this, I believe, is the key to my Granny¦ she wrote "My plans for the future are to live each day the best I can to please God, my family and friends and myself and to be worthy of the love a good man gave me."
I think that is exactly what she did each day and how she lived each day and each one of these pictures I have shared with you shows it. Rest in peace, Granny. I'll love you forever,