Grandma Naomi was no ordinary woman. She was the most generous woman I have ever met. She put everyone before herself, she made all the best comfort foods, and oh did she love the babies!
The first time I met her, she learned I was already married to her grandson, and expecting the first grandbaby. Instead of shaking her head at me, she took me on a shopping spree to welcome me to the family.
The first holiday I spent with her was Thanksgiving. Since I was the newest family member, she insisted I make the dumplings (a tradition I am still somewhat baffled by, but it was a memorable event nonetheless).
When I was living selfishly and treating her grandson terribly, she never judged me. She was always willing to welcome me home.
When Mark was deployed, I went to Ohio to stay for awhile with Jacob a toddler, and Baylie a little baby. I’m not sure I held Baylie while I was there. Grandma Naomi rocked that baby girl until she had rubbed a bald spot on the side of her head. That rocking chair must have a million miles on it.
She never forgot a special day. Birthday, anniversary, promotion… she let you know she remembered and she was thinking of you.
She never got worked up. If the doctor said she couldn’t drive, she just said “well we won’t tell.” If a grandkid dumped juice on her couch, she just offered them another one. When the doctors said it might be cancer, she just said, “well that doesn’t mean anything you know.”
She read about 2500 thousand books, just since 1997. And she signed her name and the date in the cover of each one.
She kept an impeccable photo record of her life… and of the lives of all the people closest to her. A gift that will be shared for generations to come.
She forwarded every cute or funny e-mail forward that came her way. My inbox is really gonna miss those.
She had an amazing green thumb. In my kitchen window is a small plant; a cluster of blooms that cousin Kurt trimmed from her garden… one that has been passed along through generations now. A reminder of her strong spirit.
I felt sad that Grandma Naomi didn’t get to meet Ellianna during her short life here. I hope there’s a rocking chair in Heaven, because she is never going to put that baby down!
I am honored that my children got to share life with her… that they ran barefoot through her grass, listened to books on her couch, and shared special sleepovers filled with way too many desserts. They got to see the huge part she had in raising their daddy to be an honest and committed father and husband. They got to see that even when you have a little, you can always give a lot. And they got to know that Grandma Naomi loved them with all her heart.
Our hearts are heavy as we’ve had to say goodbye for now. We anxiously await the day we are reunited again.