I remember the first day I met Andrew’s Grandma Gloria, she was tall and oh so slender and had the best stereotypical grandma voice I had ever heard. She gave me a big hug and that was it, I was welcomed to the family. I remember visiting her and sitting at her dining room table. I remember bringing Lily there to visit for the first time, sitting at that dining room table. I remember her and her husband Ray coming to visit us August 2003 for Lily’s 1st birthday. We brought them to Greer. She always sent cards and $2 bills to the kids. She always gave Andrew big silver coins. I remember whenever we visited we were sure to leave with a gift from her closet.
Andrew tells me stories of her when he was younger. She gave us a book for our wedding with poems she wrote for Andrew when he was a young boy. She had a lot of grandkids, but she sure made them all feel special. I know we didn’t get to see her often as the time went by, but every visit was a special one we had with her. She was so healthy and happy when we visited in July of 2010 before she got in a bad car accident. But she pulled through that and what an inspiring woman she was. Her love for our Lord was so evident in every word she spoke. In her entire book of poems she had written, all to glorify our Lord.
I was so glad Andrew was able to go back in January to see her and then when he heard it wouldn’t be long I am glad he made it back to see her, talk to her before her time came to an end. What a special moment that must have been for Andrew’s whole family to be there as she took her last breath. And I just know the kind of welcome she had to have gotten at those pearly gates! I know she is leading the choir up there and just talking with Jesus. She lived such an amazing testimony here and earth and left a tremendous legacy of love for her family to carry on.
Grandma Gloria passed away on Friday May 25th and Andi Jane and I flew out to meet up with Andrew on Monday the 28th for a Tuesday funeral.
It broke my heart to leave Lily and Oliver back at home, but it would have cost another $1000 to get them back with us and we just couldn’t swing it. Thank God my niece Ariel rose to the challenge and took care of them for 2 days. But man did it knot my tummy up not being with all my kids.
We were able to stay with Andrew’s brother and family and it was so fun to watch Andi Jane play with her cousins whom she is smack in the middle in regards to age. Not height though, of course. My giant 7 year old. Andi also loved her two younger cousins whom she can carry around and pretend to “mommy”.
It was so nice seeing all of Andrew’s family who we just don’t get to see often enough. All his cousins’ kids are our kids’ ages and all just so cute. I’m not kidding, that is one good looking family! The weather was perfect, the service was beautiful. It ended with a song Grandma Gloria sang that Andrew’s cousin got on tape. It was such an amazing experience to sit at a person’s funeral and hear their voice, the one thing you long for after they are gone. It was perfect.
I have to say my favorite part of the fast whirlwind trip was on the quiet drive home from the service was when the song Springsteen by Eric Church came on and the three kids just started singing, they knew every word. The windows were down and I just have a feeling every time I hear that song I will smile at that memory. Pretty ironic a song about a song being a memory is now a great memory of mine. Life can be pretty cool sometimes.
Grandma Gloria, you were a great mom to your 5 kids and an amazing grandma to your grandkids and great grandkids and I am so glad I married into your family. Thank you for accepting me and loving me right off the bat and for your love to our kids. Until we meet again you will be missed.