Her presence surrounds me, her memories warm me, she will forever remain in my heart. Elsa Anna was my Gram, a year ago today I honored her the best I could at her funeral. Family gathered, sorted through photographs and details, while sharing hugs and love. I dreaded that day. My Gram made everything better like a down blanket on a cold night, and loved me unconditionally. We were worlds apart in our lifestyles, but she accepted me for all that I was. She was 100% by my side, supporting and reminding me to “take advantage of every opportunity.” She lived 90 years full of grace and love. She would light up when I visited, as if I were the only thing that mattered. Her soft winks, and stories gave me strength throughout challenging times. She would sing camp songs from ages ago, while staying abreast of current events. She assisted my legally blind grandfather in his chiropractic practice. She utilized webtv, and sent adorable emails I shared out loud to college friends. She treated everyone as kindly as you dream people should treat one another. In one saved letter, that remains on my refrigerator, she wrote: “I thank God daily you are my granddaughter.”
Elsa was a woman of grace and peace, my grandfather saw her in confirmation class, when she was 12 and said “I’m going to marry that woman.” Either she couldn’t run very fast, or she fell in love with that crazy guy, a true love that lasted over 65 years.
My grandparents moved in with us when I was in ninth grade. I would run across the breezeway that connected our log cabins to find myself in paradise with electric heat, TV, games and love. The three of us played cards for hours, Grandpa changing the rules, leaving out others. I cherished time spent with them.
Gram was brilliant in the morning, I would lay next to her and cherish her wonderfulness. We would giggle if I went over prior to her inserting her false teeth. She was a most loving wife. Following my grandfather’s lack of motor skills and residing in a nursing home, she still wanted to visit him daily, hold his hand and keep him posted on the family.
One night in the later years, I returned to her home after saying good night and found her putting a glass of Bailey’s into the plastic cup holder in her walker, we just laughed and laughed. I miss every part of her, she had enough compassion to fill an ocean, and an overflowing love of all things good. She was amazing to her friends and they were good to her. I never heard my Gram complain about anything, anyone or any pain she endured. She was honorable, and found strength in her faith.
Her last days I stayed by her side, hugging her, talking to her and helping my Mom care for her. When her words stopped, I thanked her for her love and the role she played in my life. I witnessed another form of unconditional love, as my Mom took care of my Grams most personal needs, while making her comfortable until her final breaths were inhaled at home, in the comfort of her own bed. She will always remain my gem, my friend, my Gram. Elsa qualities were stellar, I love her, she will forever claim the best portion of my heart and souls very fabric…