Jun 4, 2009

Remembering Grandma on her birthday

I could literally fill a book recalling precious times with my Grandma Lichi. But I just want to briefly remember her here today, on what would be her 109th birthday! I was so blessed to have awesome grandmas on both sides of the family, and will write about the other one another time.

Maybe that's why I enjoy grandmothering myself so much...I would like to think I am creating some good memories for my own grandchildren to cherish someday.
This picture is from the summer of 1921. Grandma is 21, Grandpa is 31, and their three children are ages 1, 2, and 3. Grandma is pregnant with #4 child (my dad was #5) and there would eventually be 8 altogether.

Grandma Josephine Lichi came over from Sicily as a little girl in 1906. She was only 49 when I was born, but I always remember her as "old". Not old in the sense of sickly, but just the way she dressed and mostly because of her Godly grace and wisdom. I lived next door to her until I was 11 years old, and fondly remember the path through her vegetable gardens between our house and hers. Her door was always open, and I was always welcome there.

I remember frequently finding her on her back porch, preparing vegetables and fruits for canning. Sometimes on Sundays after church I would get myself invited over to share dinner with my grandparents, and to this day I can taste and smell the chicken she slow-cooked on the stove in tomato sauce. On and on I could go, reciting wonderful memories that will never go away.

If I had to name a single thing about my grandma that forever impacted me, it would without a doubt be that she was a great woman of prayer. Because she was hard of hearing, she often would not hear me stumble into her bedroom or living room, finding her on her knees before the Almighty. I know she prayed for each and every one of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren by name, with a faith that was courageous and strong. Nothing was impossible for her God, and I felt a bit sanctified just by being in her presence.

Here she is as I remember her in her later years.

Oh how I fought it in my mind when it was time to let her go at the age of 93. I wanted my own children to know her longer, in ways that I had. But that of course was not possible. I will never forget the night before she passed on when I went to see her at the nursing home. I finally fell on my knees myself beside her bed and went through the "letting go" process with many prayers and tears.

I still love her, and I can with certainty say that in the "present" tense, because I know that she lives on. Her prayers for me and for many in our family no doubt have helped to bring us along in our own faith in her, and our, God. Until we meet again, Grandma, I want you to know I have kept the faith, and I miss you so much.

No comments: