Thoughts of my Grandmother on her birthday and the anniversary of her death

100 years ago today my Grandmother was born.  2 years ago today she passed away.  In her memory, I wanted to share this little excerpt from a journal entry I wrote a few weeks ago after having a dream about her…

The skin on her hands was soft and cream-colored, and gathered up into wrinkles like a garment that once fit properly but now hung loose.  My Grandmother had long, sharp fingers.  She wrote poetry with them and made dresses that she designed herself from patterns made of newspaper.  Once, she broke the needle of the sewing machine off into her index finger.  It was in there for something like 40 years.  Then one day, it started getting agitated and over a week or two, it worked itself out.  Like it was just tired of being in her body for so long.  I think she must have felt like that herself.  At the end of her long life, her mind was just trapped in the cage of a failing body.  It took ovarian cancer finally to work the soul right out of the body.  She passed away on her 98th birthday.  I think she was waiting for it.

I wish I had gotten her to teach me how to sew a dress.  I wish I had been more attentive to her life.  I wish I had written down more things that she said.

Once, I had a dream that I was sitting with her on the couch, watching old home videos of her life.  It was as if the old pictures had come to life, where she was as strikingly beautiful as any movie star from the 30’s or 40’s.  I saw her laughing and dancing.  I saw her young, as a woman my own age.  When I woke up, I had this glowing feeling in my heart, sensing that I had been privileged to glimpse something that was real.  It was beautiful.

My lasting memory of my Grandmother is the way she prayed.  Sitting beside her in church on the second pew from the front, you could hear her whispering agreement to every prayer that was uttered in that place.  It was a rustling sound of yeses and oh Jesuses, and it was poured out from a heart that truly loved God and a life devoted to Him.

my beautiful Grandma, Gladys G. Newell
My beautiful Grandma, Gladys G. Newell

5 Comments Add yours

  1. spike678 says:

    You look a great deal like her. Grandmas are special and I know you will have a great legacy as one as well. God Bless you guys!!!!

  2. So Beautiful. Thank you, Mackenzie. God’s continued blessings to you, Randy and your beautiful children. Love you.

  3. Beautiful, Mackenzie.

  4. Uncanny resemblance! Lovely piece.

  5. Tammie Troendly says:

    This is amazing how you write about her. Everybody that knew her should read this. Love it!
    Tammie Troendly