Thursday, June 11, 2015

Dear Sweet Grandma

I've been sitting here at the computer for a long time staring at an empty screen, unable to think of a way to begin today's blog post.

I have the saddest news to share.

Yes, we have laid to rest my dear grandmother, Mary Wharton, a woman who lived a  blessedly long 98 years. My head tells me that I should have been prepared for this; after all, she had been growing weaker and more fragile these past few months. My heart tells me, though, that I wasn't ready; I will miss her so. This tug-of-war between my head and my heart has me discombobulated - one minute I can be giggling about stories and memories of Grandma, and the next I will be blubbering so much that I can't even talk.

Grandma died on Saturday night, around 9pm. Hospice had been called in just over 24 hours earlier, and we were preparing for the end. Burial was yesterday.

Grandma and I at her quilting frame. I own the quilt. And now, the frame.
When I think about the relationship I had with my grandmother, I really don't think I truly appreciated her until I was grown up. We became especially close after I married. Prior to that, I mostly took her for granted. When I was little, our family lived next door to Grandma and Grandpa, so it is very likely that their presence in our everyday world was just a matter of fact. They were simply more grown-ups keeping tabs on us kids.

I recall one of the first grown-up-to-grown-up days Grandma and I spent together. I was home from college on Christmas break in 1976, and Grandma was recovering from her first heart-attack. She wanted certain baking done for the holidays, so I went to her house to do the work while she directed from the sidelines, telling me what to do and how to do it. That day was the first time I ever made a pecan pie and a  mincemeat pie. I made cookies and candies, too. We were in the kitchen all day, and I recall it as being very pleasant. We worked well together.

My increasing interest in quilting, however, was what really cemented our bond. As a young wife and mother in the 1980s, I wanted quilts, and I knew the only way I'd ever have a lot of them was to make them myself. I already knew how to sew, and from time to time I needed just a bit of direction and advice with quilt-making which she was able to provide. We talked the same language when it came to quilts.

I invite you to scroll up to the top of the page and click on "Grandma's Quilts" (if you have a mobile device, you have to go to web version). You will see a few of the hundreds of quilts my grandmother made over the course of the 70-plus years that she quilted. I expect I have written about or referenced Grandma here on the blog about 40 or 50 times, so a search of  "grandma" in the search box will offer up a plethora of memories and stories of my sweet and amazing Grandma.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

13 comments:

Carol said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your grandmother. I scrolled through all her amazing quilts and was in awe of her beautiful work. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Debbi Mayer Ellis said...

When I read of her passing one of my first thoughts was of her quilts and what treasures they are to your whole family...people who don't quilt don't understand the bond. Keep her in your heart and those quilts will tell stories for generations to come...

Marlise said...

Jayne, after I heard about your Grandma's passing, I looked up your posts about her. I also showed Ron the post about her quilts. She was obviously an amazing woman, and you are that too. Your love of sewing, quilting, reading, friendships all show the qualities that make a good woman and friend. I never met her, but feel like I knew her through you.

Mad about Craft said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your Grandma, you will miss her terribly.

Margaret said...

You have written a beautiful tribute to your grandmother. I know you will miss her very much.

Mary said...

So Sorry Jayne. She was such a huge presence in your life, her passing is sure to leave you shaken. Wishing you comfort in your sorrow with the memories that will go on.

sewyouquilt2 said...

so sorry Jayne for your loss. hugs

QuiltSue said...

I am so sorry my friend, but at least you do have lots of lovely memories. I noticed in the photo in your post how much you look like her.

Jayne Honnold said...

Debbi and Marlise, I didn't get an email on your comments, so I will respond here by thanking you for your sweet and comforting words. Grandma was an inspiration for me, and not just in quilting. She and I were truly friends, and enjoyed one another's company. I'm glad, Marlise, that you took the time to look through all the posts I've done on Grandma. That certainly took some time! Again, thanks to both of you. Jayne

glassbylindi.blogspot.com said...

I am sorry for your loss. L

Amy M said...

So sorry for your loss. What precious memories....

Amy M said...

So sorry for your loss. What precious memories....

Anonymous said...

My grandmother passed away 21 years ago, at the age of 103. She raised me as a child and kept me many times during my growing up years. I never forgot the love I had during those years. She came to visit me and was there when my third child was born. When she died, she was in a nursing home and had been for about 3 years. She knew everybody, though. Right up till the end. She died on a bitter cold night in January. She always said she would live until "hell froze over!" and she did!!!