It was Saint Bernard of Clairvaux who said, "We find rest in those we love, and we provide a resting place in ourselves for those who love us."
I choose to believe that was written explicitly about my mom, Virginia Smith. Mother of five, grandmother of 26, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother, she provided that resting place for all of us.
Join seven of her grandchildren and me on a trip down memory lane as we pay a most well-deserved tribute.
Ginny: "I was blessed to be given her name, Virginia Leigh, and she will always be a huge part of my life. I can vividly see, hear and smell some of those memories. Grandma would greet us at the door smiling and sit us down at the table for mashed potatoes and tapioca pudding. I miss the holidays the most as Grandma was the center of it. She taught me how to pour out love to everyone and to spread joy no matter the circumstances. I love her with all my heart."
Aspen: "What I remember most about Grandma was her smile. She was always so happy to see us, feed us and entertain us. She'd take us out to the barn and show us around always telling stories. One was about a bird they had when my Dad was young that said swear words! She also let Ginny and I go on the hammock when my mom and dad weren't watching. I love you, Grandma Smith, and know you're watching over us!"
Sarah: "The mention of the word Grandma instantly brings a smile to my face. Then there's the wafting smell of cookies and apple pie. My grandma was the best baker/cook, hands down! Also, not a day goes by without one of Grandma's sayings coming up such as; smidgen, warsh, brain you, boobie hatch, hassock, pillow sheet ... and the signature saying just for me was ... 'Sarah, do you know what you are??!! MY PAIN IN THE NECK!' Memories of my grandma fill my heart."
Michelle: "I remember eagerly waiting all week for the weekend so I could go to Grandma and Grandpa Smith's. There was the most comfortable bed with sheets so clean and crisp, you never minded getting told to go to bed! Early mornings were off to the barn to do chores. I just remember her genuine and peaceful spirit. You always wanted to be around her. No matter what went on, she was present for whatever you needed. She told me to be honest and true to myself and things would be OK. LOVE describes her best!"
Carrie: "Grandma was one of the strongest, most caring, forgiving and unforgettable people I will ever have the blessing of knowing. She would say the most profound things that you might miss if you weren't paying attention, but would never forget if you heard them. Like; you just can't judge someone not having walked in their shoes, don't get mad – get even, this too shall pass, time really does heal all wounds, everything needs a smidgen of salt (and love), if they get mad they'll get glad, and always, ALWAYS forgive. It is a goal of mine to be half the woman she was and will always be to me!"
Joshua: "My favorite memory was how Dad and I would visit Grandma every morning for coffee/tea and just talk about current events, family, the shop, etc. Grandma would share stories about Grandpa and her raising kids, how great of a shooter he was, and how he taught my dad how to do just about everything. (Like my dad has taught me!) Grandma had a huge teddy bear collection and a cookie jar on her fridge. She'd always let us kids pick out our favorite cookie. Grandma was a remarkable person that loved and sacrificed for her family. She was my inspiration regarding what is really important in life - FAMILY!"
Jamie: "My grandmother was a soft, small woman with a giant heart. There was nothing better than going to Grandma's! I loved the times being on the farm and having to gain the courage with my brother or cousin to cross the wrath of a mean rooster, evil swans or a crazy billy goat. Once we'd skirted around these cranky animals we'd tell Grandma our story and she'd smile and make us feel like we'd just conquered the world! Most of all I remember the tie and connection Grandma created among our family. I miss her greatly, but she lives in my heart and my memories."
Looking at one of her favorite aprons hanging on my wall in my kitchen, handkerchief always in the pocket, my eyes fill with tears of joy. As her daughter, I can attest to her being the most special person in the hearts of many ... and HER making each and every one of US feel like we were the MOST special person in hers.