God. I don’t even know where to begin. I love Christmas, and all that it entails. The promise of a new year. Fresh beginings. A time to be spent with family. So today, I would like to tell you about my Grandma Harler.
The woman was a nut. She had the most amazing gift of being able to talk to anyone, anytime, anywhere, anyplace. She made friends wherever she went. She never met a stranger. Ever. She would welcome you with open arms. I was in awe of her. My mother is like that. In so many ways.
Grandma always had projects. She helped with a senatorial campaign. She worked tirelessly in her church. They published a cookbook the year before last. She sent me a copy. Which only included one recipe from her. I still find that odd, because she was a good cook. I cherish that cookbook. She did so very many things. For so many organizations. There are too many to name. She believed in helping her fellow man.
She was very religous. But she was fair. “Judge not, lest ye be judged” was a favorite of hers. And she lived her life that way. She tried to help anyone that needed it. Be it a kind word, or a home-cooked meal. She was never preachy. She just loved God, and was never ashamed to let you know it. She wanted to share the joy that it had given her. In whatever way she could.
And she was dingy. The first example that comes to mind is Cracker Barrel. She came out to visit when I graduated from high school. My parent’s took her there for lunch. She loved it. She would tell anyone who would listen about going to the Crack Box for lunch. It still makes me smile to think about that. She was forever calling things by the wrong name. It was always a running family joke. And don’t even get me started about her driving skills!
And there are so many more memories I have. She came out to help my mom after my last knee surgery. Quinn was only six months old. I found a picture the other day that made me cry. In it you can see Quinn, and only her hands. I love that picture more than words can say.
She passed away almost a year ago, this month. The week before Christmas. I miss her every day. I did my Christmas cards tonight, and it was really sad. This first year has been incredibly difficult. I talked to her at least once a week. It was hard to give that up. She was my rock. I know that she is watching over me. Us. But it is still not the same. She loved her great-grandchildren, if possible, more than she loved us. I know she is proud of them. I just wish she were here to see them. She would be so excited. She loved to take their pictures to church, and display them for everyone to see. We are talking 11 by 13 pictures. Not wallets.
I guess I would like for all of you to hug your loved one’s close. Be thankful for what you have. Enjoy your holiday season. And never take them for granted.