Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"Grandma! I Need More Lightbulbs!"

Yesterday as Glenn walked into the bathroom one of the light bulbs blew. My first thought was, "Grandma! I need more lightbulbs!"

You see, five years ago today my mom's mom, my Grandma Hansen, went home to be with Jesus. The previous 5 months she had spent living in a nursing home after having an episode at home that resulted in an ambulance trip to the hospital and a subsequent stroke. During those 5 months my Uncle and Aunt had spent countless hours clearing out her house. She was a horder (I come by that trait naturally from many family members). She had lived in that house for over 50 years and it took LOTS of trash bags and trips to thrift stores to get rid of all of it. We went over to help occasionally but with 4 kids 6 and under we weren't a lot of help.

Whenever we would go over there though my Uncle would send me home with lots of stuff that he thought we could use. One of those things was a box of lightbulbs. There was a large variety of them. Some of them I think may have dated back to when my Grandpa (who died when I was 1) worked at Sylvania. At that time we were living in the little apartment in Waterloo above the pizza shop. Those light bulbs have moved with us and have been used in each of the 5 places we've lived since then as light bulbs have blown (they've also been stored when our stuff was in storage between places). Last week when a bulb blew in the dining room I replaced it and when I looked in the box I realized that it was the last bulb that I would probably use so I took a picture of the dead light bulb and the empty boxes that were left in the box (I don't know what  I would do with the 60 watt bug lite pictured above.)

As I was thinking about my Grandma Hansen I remembered what I had written to read at her burial service. It has been in the back of my Bible ever since and I thought that I would type it up here so I would have one less piece of paper.

"Proverbs 31:29-31 'Many daughters have done nobly but you excel them all. Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands and let her works praise her in the gates.'

" I love my Grandma. I count it a privilege to be one of her 4 grandchildren. She was such an example to me. She taught me so much. Who needs pre-school when you can go to Grandma's house all week. She didn't have a teaching degree but she was always teaching. Birds, flowers, trees, plants, everything she knew she passed on to us. [If I could now only remember half of it!!]

"She was a very generous person - always giving. Flowers, plants, vegetables from her garden, fruit from her trees, rugs [made from grocery bags], other crafts she had made. Her rugs are all over the country and all over the world. She was always ready with something to give someone. Whenever she would come to see us she'd always bring a bag of food which always included cheese puffs - she knew how much my kids love them. She always made our kids feel special and they know she loved them. I'm so glad that they could know their great Grandma Hansen!

"Now that she's gone I feel a great void in my life. I have tremendous shoes to fill, even if her actual shoes were only about half the size of mine they carried an incredible woman. One I would love to immitate in so many ways.

"Thank You God for blessing me with such a wonderful grandma. I pray that I will live my life in such a way that, with Your help, I will be someone who gives, teaches and loves as grandma did."

 I probably spent more of my awake, early years at my Grandma Hansen's house than I did at mine during the school year. She watched us while my mom taught and my dad was at the shop. I am so thankful for the time that I spent with her, learning from her. I miss her. Though I am thankful that I didn't have to buy light bulbs for the last 5 years I am so much more thankful for the example that I was given in her growing up.
This is the last photo that I took of Grandma Hansen with all 4 kids just a couple of weeks before she went into the hospital. Caleb was excited because he was almost as tall as her! I am pretty sure most of them would tower over her now :)

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