Friday, November 01, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Grace (Part 1)

"She's beauty and she's grace."

Remember that scene from Miss Congeniality? The one near the end when miss United States is crowned, and while chaos insues, the announcer keeps repeating the Miss United States lines:
From sea to shining sea like lady liberty
She reigns over all she sees
She is beauty and she is grace
She is queen of 50 states
She is elagance and taste
She is miss United States
Funny movie aside, beauty pageants have never played a role in my life and I've never really been too influenced by the media's portrayal of women. I attribute some of that to very little TV viewing as a child and teen. But I attribute most of it to the women I've had in my life. Strong, confident (or so it always seemed to me) women who exuded beauty from the inside out. My mother, my two grandmothers, women from my church, and a few exceptional women teachers in both school and music. The two women I want to mention in this post, though, are my grandmothers. I am blessed to have called two wonderful, gracious ladies Grandma.

Me, Mum, and Grandma Q after church

My Grandma Q was a wonderful homemaker and an excellent cook. Her house was homey and always smelled amazing. While us kids didn't always enjoy going to Grandma and Grandpa Q's church (there were never many kids at that church), we did enjoy walking across the street to their house after church for our Sabbath dinner. I will always remember the amazing gluten that often graced Grandma Q's table. I have never ever tasted better gluten. Another perk to going to G&G Q's house was the little glass bowls of treats that conveniently lived on the dining room table, the living room coffee table, and on a small bookshelf leading down the main hallway. Peanuts and chocolate chips or licorice mixes lived inside, and us grandkids often took little walks around the house to check out the little dishes (usually several times before the meal as well as quite a few after).

Grandma Q was also a creative lady who had one daughter followed by four sons. She had to be creative with a bunch like that, eh? :) Well, in reality I'm not sure how creative she was able to be while her children were young, but when I was in the picture, she certainly was. She quickly turned old clothes into patchwork quilts and gave them away to family members who could use them. If my older or younger sisters or I needed a slip for Sabbath, she would get busy sewing. Nightgowns and doll dresses and knitted slippers came our way from Grandma Q's capable hands. And when I went through my wanna-be Laura Ingalls Wilder stage, she bought pretty blue material and a bonnet pattern and sewed both me and my younger sister "Laura bonnets." I was thrilled and wore mine all over the place for quite a few months!

Grandma Q also painted. I didn't know until I was older that she hadn't always painted; she taught herself to paint when she was in her 60s. Her sewing room might as well have been called her painting studio. Paintings of gorgeous nature settings - she only did scenery paintings - hung from the walls, with tall mountains, rolling hills, running rivers, and straight, green pine trees bursting from the frames. She gave each of her children and grandchildren a special painting, and mine hangs proudly on the wall of my apartment after traveling across the continent with me more than a year ago. On my bed lies a special quilt Grandma Q made and gave to my parents years ago; as I was packing my things to bring eastward I found it unused and forgotten in my parents' garage. My dad let me adopt it and bring it with me, and I am so glad. I love it to death! The pink and white quilt features hand-painted pictures of the 12 provincial flowers (Nunavut wasn't a territory when Grandma Q made it) as well as maple leaves and a few other types of flowers.

Grandma Q's hand-painted quilt on my bed.

Every time I see it I am reminded of Grandma Q. Two days before my little sister's fifth birthday, my Grandma Q had a sudden stroke. She was in the ICU for a day or so, but wasn't able to recover. I so wish I had known her longer, had been able to make more memories with her and create special bonds with her. But I thank God that I was able to know her for eight years of my life. And I look forward to seeing her again in heaven. Seeing her again has always been part of my incentive to go there, and I can't wait to meet her again and get to know her better in that perfect place.

Read Part Two here.

My musings on the prompt 'grace' for Five Minute Friday. Join in next week if you feel inspired!

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing blog brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for writing such a beautiful tribute to Grandma!