Sunday, July 01, 2007

Two Great Women are Missed

A couple of months ago I was in a piece about the connection we have to our past mothers and grandmothers and how there are metaphorical and literal threads that link us to our history. Two great-grandmothers of my little family's "threads" have now passed beyond this life to join their mothers and grandmothers, and they are missed.

On May 29
th, 2007, my Grandma Cook (my mom's mom) past away. She was 89 years of age.

On July 1st, 2007, Jason's Grandma Mac (McLeod) (also his mom's mom) past away. She was 92 years of age.

I feel very blessed that I was able to travel to Utah to be a part of my Grandma's funeral and memorial and that Jason has the same opportunity. He will be leaving for Canada tomorrow. The ties that I have to my past are strong and give me a sense of direction. We are a part of and even created by our past and I have deep gratitude for their lives and the life that they gave to our mothers.

Both of our grandmothers were
exceptional seamstresses. I received many beautiful blankets and clothing from my dear Grandma growing up. She made Jason and I a very special quilt for our wedding with a darling heart on it. She told me that it was there because of her love for us. Jason's Grandma made fabulous sweaters and knitted clothing for the brothers growing up. We have a sweater that she made for Jason as a toddler that Soren has been wearing (he has just grown out of it). It was so precious on him.

Our little boy,
Soren, brings these two women together being tied to both through genealogy. I'm grateful that he has the McLeod name as a middle name just like his dad. I want him to know about their pasts, their struggles, and their love.

Both of our grandmas lost their husband early in their marriages and despite heartache and tremendous opposition raised their children and gave all that they had for them. I want to honor their lives and give all that I have for my family. I want to be strong during opposition and hold strong to my faith as they did. I love them and feel
sadness because of their passing yet I have a sense of peace in knowing that they are at rest in heaven. I imagine my Grandma Cook welcoming Grandma Mac to her new home.


Michelle said...

Sorry to hear about your family's loss. I'm sure the women left behind on both sides carry much of those positive attributes.

charles said...

I don't know Soren's Grandma Mac, but whenever I think of Grandma Cook, I feel that I have to justify the lives of women like that who suffered and toiled their whole lives, not knowing much happiness or joy, sometimes making mistakes, but moving on, serving and surviving just the same....for them and for me. I think it makes my life more poignant and meaningful---knowing that we are all connected and that our choices and actions have consequences throughout generations. No woman is an island. I'm sure G'ma Cook had full realization of that when she passed on and met the hundreds and hundreds of sister saints who accepted the temple work she did for them.

Cammie said...

Thanks Charla and Michelle.

Steph said...

What a nice tribute Cammie. I am glad that Jason can come. You will be missed.

Cammie said...

Thank you Steph.

MUMMY said...

I didn't cry when my mother died nor did I cry at the funeral. I also didn't cry the last time I talked to her and heard her labored breathing and knowing she would go soon. I did cry when I read your your blog, Cammie and Charla. Our generation seems to live for fun, laughter, satisfaction and pleasure. Her generation lived mosst of the time for survival. She was 12 when the depression came and learned to recycle everything. Their generation were wonderful recyclers. She would buy very expensive coats at flea markets and remake them into coats for her children and then hand them down through children. I got my first real store bought coat when I turned 16. I wore that coat through high school and college. I bought my first coat when I got my first teaching check- the leopard one. Coats. My mother never had a coat that was store bought. She remade some beautiful coats she got at rummage sales or garage sales. In her fruit room were bottles of tomatoes dated summer of 57. Survival was very important to her/them. She certainly didn't know how to sit and chat. She had so many things on her list of things to do each day. Her garden was so important to her to keep up - survival mode again. I just found 2 more bottle of her raspberry jam under the stairs as I'm cleaning it out with some green beans - all from her garden. She knew how to work. I know I've said at times she was a work horse and human dynamo. For someone 5' 1" tall at 91 lbs. she accomplished more than several people larger. She upholstered a gray couch when we moved into our newly built house after my father was killed. I held the tacks in place while she pounded then in the wood frame. I spilled fingernail polish on it when mom was gone and tried to clean it up with remover and cover it with a doily before she came home. She found it anyway. I remeber being afraid of a horse once because he kept rearing and she got on him, slappped him around with the reins a few times, got off and handed the reins to me and that horse (Redwing) behaved even for me. I also remember Redwing being kicked by another horse into the end of a pole and ripped his withers open. Mother and I poured ammonia and gentian violet on the wound., Then I held the flesh shut while mother sewed it shut with an upholstery needle and fish line. Two weeks later I cut the fish line very carefully out of the flesh while the horse was in a small loading stall - I had his head tied very tight so he couldn't rear or move much. The wound was massive and for the rest of Redwings life whenever we patted her front we could feel the healed wound. She and Patches and Maude and Prince along with Doll and Chief were our favorite horses. We had them for years. Maude died at 28 years and so did Patches. Doll and Chief were a matched paid of Shires used for hauling and farming. They had a colt together once who died and I cried. Enough reminiscing. I must get on with my day.

Cammie said...

Thanks mom, I'm going to past that to my journal. Those stories are really important to me.