Grandma Jean, We LOVE you so much!
How I miss the days of living next door to this dear lady! You could go over at almost any time of the night (say before 12am) and Grandma was ready to challenge you to a game of Aggravation, or Chicken Foot. In fact I think it's safe to say, Grandma was the Chicken Foot Queen! Thinking about my sweet grandma today. My auntie called mom today to say that Grandma is slipping. We don't know when but it looks like she may not recover this time. Going to head down tomorrow to possibly say our final goodbyes to this dear sweet woman. I have so many thoughts and memories filling my heart, I know I'm not the only one of her loved ones (11 children and their spouses, 40 living grandchildren, and 86 great grandchildren, not to mention the possible other hundreds of other "adopted grandchildren" who call her "Grandma Jean") who has been thinking a lot about her especially lately as she is in her final days here on this earth. I'm so thankful for the pictures that help to bring those sweet memories of her back into clear vision, so much so that at times when I look at her pictures I can hear her laugh, see that warm loving look, see the deep compassion in her eyes as she weeps for a loved one. She is a treasure. Did I mention she loves children? Here she is holding my little Guenna, who is wearing a dress that Grandma made for me when I was a baby. I am pretty certain that I inherited a deep fondness for children from this dear lady. She had 11 children because she LOVED kids, and I don't really think she cared what anybody else thought of her for wanting to have so many children. And her love has been proven through the years, though her body is weary, her many many years of loving has grown into children and grand and great grandchildren to nurture and hold her hand as she prepares to meet her Lord. What an investment. She was a wise woman who toiled not in vain. Pretty sure that grandma would agree that the only thing that is better than one baby, is two or three or four babies! :) This is a picture of Grandma with our little Caitriona Jean (named after Grandma) and my brother's little Ellis born just a couple weeks apart. Grandma holding Aidan and Eamon when they were little. I've always loved bringing my babies over for Grandma to see, because I know that she appreciates their beauty, their cuteness, their little chubby legs as much as I do. I feel like a little kid bringing home a trophy I just won. Here she is meeting our little Connor boy! How do you say goodbye to a woman like Grandma Jean? I was just telling my children today that "great grandma not doing very well and she may die soon, we don't know but it's looking that way. But did you know that her sister went to heaven just a few weeks ago? (they gasped!!) And when grandma dies she is going to see her sister, and she is going to see grandpa that you guys haven't even met, and..." Guenna interrupts me and says excitedly, "Dying is so fun!" Not necessarily the dying part, but the thought of my sweet grandma meeting her Lord, hearing Him say, "well done faithful servant..." that's the fun part. It is so hard to let go of a woman like this, who has touched so many lives in such a selfless, giving way. Today I was thinking, I can't think of one negative thing about her, and I can't imagine anyone who knows or has known who would call her an enemy or someone they couldn't get along with. Isn't that remarkable? Grandpa was blessed to have such a fantastic "pianist" serving the churches he pastored! ;) I pray that my grandchildren will have the same feelings of sorrow and fondness when I am preparing to go on to meet our Lord. I pray that I will have the grace of God to love like you've shown us all to love, and to forgive, and to bless, and to not judge. You have been a tremendous example to all of us, and a pillar of wisdom in our family. I love you with all my heart, your memory will live in our hearts. You have nearly run the race, and you have kept the faith, soon you will enter your rest. I'm guessing that soon there's going to be an ultimate Chicken Foot game in Heaven, and Grandma will show NO mercy! :)