As a kid, I had a grandmother who loved me beyond measure. Yes, she was a worrier and a fretter and drove many batty with her list of concerns. But she loved me. Loved me to a point that, quite frankly, really irritated my mother. I always knew she loved me but until recently, I had no idea of the great lengths she went to in order to protect me.
My grandparents, Anna Grace and me. March 2004.
She took me to church, she bought me my first bible, she encouraged me to sing. She taught me all about southern culture and she had a great delusion that I (yes… ME) would be a debutante. And those that know me well can assure you…. that was never in the cards.
As I grew up she loved me more and more. We’d shop together, do crafts together and gossip about anyone and everyone. That continued until one day in May of 2008 when I sat by her bed and spent a few last moments with her. Just the two of us. I assured her that although her two knuckle headed children were not exactly making her proud, that she had a legacy with me. A spiritual legacy and a legacy in her great grandchild. Anna Grace would always know who she was and how she loved me.
I sat back in my chair, began to knit and just talk to her about all the goings on in the family. And in a few short minutes, she quietly passed away.
My grandparents celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.
As the years pass, I think of her almost every day. I wonder if she’s proud of me, my daughter and how I am choosing to raise my family. I try to think of little ways to honor her, remember her, without mourning but just remembering. Remembering with joy. I was greatly blessed. I miss her but I was greatly blessed.
With each pregnancy I think of names and such that might be a permanent reminder of her and her love for me. But, in truth, I didn’t have a lot to work with. My grandmother’s name was Trudie Bell (say that real fast with a southern accent and you’ll get the full impact) and her mother (my great grandmother) was Willie Ethel. So naming a child after either of these was not an option. Last names didn’t work either.
Grandma and Me, age 2 or 3
But one day I was thinking of all the trips I took with my grandparents and how they took me to see the mountains and waterfalls and little strange bavarian villages. I remembered all the stories she told me about where she grew up, her birthplace. I knew it was the place she loved. And with that, I knew the name for this baby. This little girl that she will never meet but who will know all there is to know about her great grandmother.
Georgia Kate Haukoos
Born August 13, 2007
7 lbs 4 ounces