Thursday, March 25, 2010

Loving Memories Of My Grandma Arlettaz

Grandmas are the best! My Grandma Arlettaz (Harry’s mother) was always active. She became a widow when my dad was only three years old and never remarried. She was a very thin old lady when I knew her who loved me very much. I found some old slides of us together which was the inspiration for this post. She helped my mom take care of me when I was born and got the blame when I needed glasses in first grade because she let me sit too close to watch TV when I had the chicken pox. I used to love staying at her house over night sometimes.

Grandma and my three aunts had a very big house with many rooms but let me sleep in the same bed with her. The windows were from the floor almost to the high ceiling. It had a long staircase in the front hallway leading to the upstairs. As a teen, I thought it would be nice to have that house because it would be great for big parties. The rooms were huge except for the kitchen. The heating bills must have been enormous! Harry actually considered buying it when the last of my aunts died, but didn’t because the neighborhood was on the decline.
Here’s a list of some specific fond memories I have:

Playing restaurant with their good dishes. How many people do you know who would let a preschooler or Kindergartner play with their good dishes?

Playing church with me acting as the Pastor serving communion. My grandma and aunts thought it was cute, but I really wanted them to know Jesus as their Savior and this gave me a way to tell them.

Playing with a horse knickknack that had a broken leg. She even let me keep it. At the time I liked horses because cowboys rode them and I was into cowboys big time. I had that little horse for a very long time. I just threw it away recently when I was trying to get rid of some of my clutter to give Gerard less to dust.

Going shopping downtown with Grandma. We used to eat at Higbees by a fish pond that was in the restaurant. She always told me I could buy something but usually I didn’t really see anything I wanted. I do remember getting a “Let’s Take A Trip” game but don’t know what happened to it.

Just enjoying being with her and watching her work in the yard. We just liked hanging out together. I can’t remember her ever once raising her voice. She was such a loving, gentle woman that I admired tremendously and always had fun with her.

My parents asked me for suggestions as to what to buy Grandma Arlettaz for some holiday—(I think Mother’s Day). After some serious thought, I suggested a sliding board. I really thought she would like one for her yard because she liked to do fun things. My parents disagreed and went with something else instead.

I always wanted to grow old like her—staying active and thin. It was very sad when she had a stroke and came to live with us because she couldn’t talk. It was frustrating for her and my parents. I felt very sad and was angry at the doctor for not being able to make her better. She had medicine to take but didn’t like it and it seemed like it was an ongoing battle between her and my mom. I was upset that she gave my mom such a hard time.

When grandma Arlettaz died, I really had a lot of anger toward the doctor and God. I felt like the medicine battle was a waste because it didn’t make her better anyway. I remember I rode my bike up and down the drive as fast as I could when I heard she had died.

I was very mad at God too for letting her die but not so mad that I turned away from Him. In fact, just the opposite was true. I prayed and prayed for God to raise her from the dead, thinking that perhaps He was testing my faith. I don’t recall how old I was, somewhere between 5th grade and 8th grade I think. I knew he had raised people from the dead in Bible times and had faith that he could still do it if He wanted to. I had a very special bond with my Grandma Arlettaz and knew God loved me so would certainly answer my prayer of great faith. Then I began to sort of become afraid that he would and started hoping I wouldn’t see her ghost. I thought, since she was already buried, if she came back to life, she wouldn’t be able to get out anyway. That’s when I finally accepted the fact that she was dead for good and realized that God knew best after all and forgave Him for not answering my prayer the way I wanted. He did answer—but the answer was no.

What fond memories do you have of your Grandma? Have you ever prayed in great faith and not had your prayer answered the way you wanted?

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here.
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Mrs Lucia-Wright said...

It's lovely that you have such great memories of your Grandma. I have memories of my grandparents too that I treasure. I was always so excited when we'd go visiting them. You have a lovely blog, looking forward to reading more from you and thank you for stopping by my blog too. xx

Anonymous said...

AW, so sweet memories you have. I remember visiting my maternal grandmother in the nursing home and feeding her lunch. She was such a sweet quite lady.

Hey, I'm glad you enjoyed the post today. See you tomorrow for Friday Follow. I am now following you.


Lin said...

I really loved your memories of your grandma, Karen, they were so REAL. It is the odd memories (like the horse or sleeping with Grandma) that stand out--not that she baked cookies with you or something. I remember spending the night at my grandma's house too. Gees, I felt so small!

Nice post--it made me smile.

tahtimbo said...

I have so many wonderful memories of my grandmother. We used to take walks around the block; she made the best toast in the world; I would stay overnight there during the summer (I would sleep on the couch in the living room, because I was too afraid to sleep upstairs); she had the most amazing voice and could play the piano like no one could.
Thank you for prompting these memories.

jude8753 said...

Great memories you have Karen. I have a few memories, but I was scared of my Granny and she was always sick.

stephanie said...

what a great tribute to your grandma. inspires to me to make the most of opportunities with my kids... let them use the nice plates, sleep in bed with me when the want, make fun memories... its those little things they'll remember.

thanks for sharing.

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

Mrs. Lucia Wright: I'd like to hear about some of your memories of your grandma too. Thanks for saying I have a lovely blog. Sweet of you.

Midday Escapades: I'm sure she appreciated your visits very much. Thanks for following me.

Lin: My grandma and I never baked cookies. She wasn't much of a cook or baker. That skill just doesn't run in our family; it's no wonder I stay out of the kitchen except to take my pills and feed my pets.

Tahtimbo: Those all sound like sweet memories of your grandmother. I do wonder though, why you were afraid to sleep upstairs?? Is that where the monsters lived?

Jude: That's so sad you only remember your Granny as being sick and were afraid of her. At least you get to be a good grandma. Thanks again, for your very nice book review! So glad you enjoyed it.

Stephanie: That's right--it's the little every day things that make life so special! I love that I can inspire people to make special memories for their kids!

Miss Fit said...

I, too, have wonderful memories of my (maternal) Grandmother! She passed a few years ago and I really think it was the hospitals fault. She wasn't ready to go. I would stay over, I would snuggle with her at night, she would take me school shopping, camping, fishing and she introduced me to making breakfast with rice, milk, sugar, cinnamon and raisins. To this day that breakfast dish will always remind me of her!

Natalie said...

Ah, I would've loved your Grandma :) She sounds like a wonderful woman!

You were right...our posts were very similar. I'm glad we "found" each other and look forward to getting to know you better!

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