Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My Grandmother

I actually wrote this 2 yeas ago after my grandmother passed away. I never really finished writing it. I think at the time I was just sad and needed a break. Very shortly after that we found out that Cole was on his way at which point I was so exhausted I had to hibernate for the next 3 months. And after that time just ran away from me. So, 2 and a half years later, here it is...

 My grandmother past away on June 16th. It's a day that I have tried not to think about my whole life. There are some things in life that I have truly dreaded but when they happen it was not as hard as I imagined. This was every bit as hard and sad as I imagined. While I am still very sad and will always miss her I am peaceful knowing she is wit the Lord and that she had a wonderful wonderful life. I am so blessed to have had her 33 years of my life.
My grandmother was the most organized person you would have ever met. Everything in her house was exactly in it's place and labeled with little notes. She was like that in life and she took it to her grave. Her funeral was very well planned out and organized down to the detail. I have obviously never had to plan a funeral but I am sure there must be a lot of details. Because she was so organized and well planned we were able to add a lot of special details. 

I KNOW she would have been so happy to see what we added.
We were all given the opportunity to say something at her funeral. I wasn't even going to kid myself that I would be able to get 2 words out. Fortunately my Aunt Karen offered to read for me. This was what I wrote.

Maureen Williams Norwood
It was not hard to come up with things to say about my grandmother. I can think of hundreds of ways that she was a great daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend.
We have always lived close to my grandparents. It was easy for them to come to a school performance, a holiday or just a visit. I have been spoiled to have them so close by my whole life.
As a child I would spend the weekend at their house on occasion. My grandmother would have card games, sewing projects, and Blue Bell ice cream waiting for me.
Some of my favorite memories are of her and I playing cards. I think all the grand kids had their own game with her. Mine was Old Maid. She was the best and sweetest grandmother but when she played a card game she wanted to win. We had some pretty competitive games of Old Maid. I think it became less fun for her when I began to win every game. Though she grew suspicious she never did figure out how I became an Old Maid champion. I guess I should have told her at some point that the Old Maid card was just a slightly different shade of blue than the others.
When I was about 7 we went through a phase where we would sit in the big rocking chair and read Nancy Drew mysteries. A few years ago we were talking about that and laughing because I finally admitted to her that a villain in one of the books had really scared me. I still remember it was “the man with the crinkly ear”.  She wondered why I didn’t tell her at the time. I didn’t tell her because I really loved when we read the books together and I didn’t want her to stop reading them to me.  It’s one of my very favorite memories.
As I was sitting and thinking about what I wanted to share, all sorts of memories came flooding back to me. One that stuck out to me is when she began writing the Norwood family book. There was no back then. It was straight old fashioned research. We took a trip to Washington DC so she could visit the Library of Congress. Then, she and my grandfather went England to research and visit the Norwood Manor in Leckhampton. When it came time to type the book she bought a computer. Most people didn’t have home computers back then but she bought a computer and learned how to use it.  When I think about how she wrote the book I can see that she set her mind to the task and she did it right. As a side note to the Washington DC trip, she packed a whole suit case for us that just had candy and snacks in it. What a wonderful grandmother! She did that right too!
She had 4 granddaughters. I think we have probably all came to her at some point and asked her to teach us to sew. I was no different. When I would spend the weekend at her house we would go to the fabric store, pick out a pattern and fabric and begin our project. She taught me to always wash the fabric first to pre shrink. We would carefully piece and sew our project. Sometimes I would mess up and she would show me how to go back and rip the seam to re-sew it.  She always reminded me not to get in a rush, just to take my time. She was teaching me how to do it right.
I remember asking her one Christmas to write about her life in a journal I had given her. I just wanted to know the details her story. She has had an amazing life. Instead of just writing in the journal she typed out the story of her life, added pictures and had it bound for all of her grand kids. She didn’t just do it right, she went above and beyond.
I really could go on and on. In thinking about her and her life it always seemed that she set her mind to a task and she not only did it right but often went above and beyond. She was loving, giving, selfless, fun, often tireless, and talented and though she would often tell me her memory was bad I actually think she had a remarkable memory. She was a wonderful storyteller.
However you knew her, Maureen, Mother, Mamaw, Grammy, Mimi, Gran or Mrs. Norwood, she did it right. She will be greatly missed.

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