Friday, March 27, 2009

Goodbye to Grandma Carson

Grandma's funeral was today in Maine. I'm exhausted from the emotions and logistics of flying out and back. It was great to see my Maine relatives and the service was truly a celebration of her life.

Back in 1995 I sat down with Grandma and a grandmother remembers type of book. I turned on the video camera, asked questions and simply recorded her responses. The book provided the structure of the interview and the actual questions. I then took the video and transcribed it to provide each relative a taped and written copy. I loved the history of my grandmother's life and enjoyed doing that project. Now, 14 years, 3 moves and 2 kids later, I had all but forgotten it. Someone in Maine pulled it out, we printed it up and have been pouring over her story all week. In it, she was asked about her favorite hymns, scripture passages, advice she'd leave for family members, etc. What was a simple project so many years ago meant to satisify my curiousity over her history turned into a treasured resource today (to me at least!) If any of you have older relatives, I'd encourage you to consider such a project. There are so many memories that fade over time and this helps record some of those precious times.

Another project that turned into a treasure this week was a project my cousins and I worked on a few years back for Grandma's Christmas gift. We all wrote down memories of our grandparents and sent her a memory box containing 365 slips of paper. She was to read one a day for the year so she'd know how much she had impacted our lives. It was so fun to read back through those memories.

Lots of good memories, lots of pouring over photos, lots of time with beloved cousins and aunts and an uncle. I'm tired. I'm emotionally spent. The service was rough; really rough. I witnessed my brother cry for the first time in my life (and he's 31). But it was such a wonderful tribute to a woman who affected so many lives.

And apparently she's celebrating a little too much in Heaven right now and not paying attention to cheering on the 'Cuse....cuz they are losing badly!!!


The Morris Family said...

... Wow! What wonderful ways to capture memories- love that you took the time to do that story with your grandmother- and the 365 days project is another fantastic idea- thanks for sharing- and inspiring! Hoping you have a bit of time to rest this weekend.

Pug Mama said...

So sorry for your lose

Tammie said...

What a great idea you had all those years ago Gretchen! I'm sure that having these things will help you through this time.

If you need me, I'm here. Just let me know.

Super Mommy said...

What great ideas for preserving those memories. I wish I'd done that for my dad before he passed.

{Hugs} Gretchen - I hope the sorrow leaves you quickly - but it is also natural and good to grieve.