Last week my beautiful Grandma Hunter passed away at age 92. She lived a full life, and now she gets to join my sweet Grandpa. After receiving the news I took a few minutes and thought over all of my memories of her as well as her talents and gifts that have blessed my life. A few years back Jeremiah and I visited my grandparents, and they each shared memories of their life as we looked through an old album. I have a three-and-a-half hour recording of both of them talking and telling memories. It is a treasure. I love to listen to it and hear their wonderful voices and their laughter.
I feel like I really became close to Grandma when I moved away from home to attend school. My dear Mother had recently passed away from cancer, and it was a tough time. Being able to drive to my grandparents' beautiful home and sit on that gorgeous yet incredibly comfortable blue and white patterned down sofa and just melt because the environment felt so safe and comforting to me was a real blessing. Grandma was always interested in me, and though she had many, many grandchildren (35 grandchildren and 61 great grandchildren), she always showed such care for me and what was going on in my life. She always knew about school, remembered my classes, and which apartments I was living in. It just made me feel loved! I remember having a conversation with her soon after my Mom passed away about her mom (my great grandmother Webb), and how her mother passed away at about the same age I was when my Mom passed away. No matter how old you are, you always need your mom. She understood from her own experience--what a tender mercy to me!
Some of my memories when I was younger include going up and staying at their beautiful lakeside property up at Bear Lake. Grandma always had a plethora of creamies (a wonderful ice cream popsicle) in her freezer. As a mother of ten, she was used to cooking and baking in bulk, and my Dad would often tease her about how once she 40 x the brownie recipe (yes, that's right--40 x), the funniest thing is that she had sufficient ingredients on-hand to bake in that much bulk!
Even in her aging years, she maintained such a positive attitude. She lost her vision, yet with the help of my incredible family was able to attend almost every family function. I'm sure it would have been a lot easier for her to just stay home--but that just wasn't Grandma. She wanted to live life fully!
Some of my grandma's defining characteristics were her capacity to create beauty. Her home is filled with beauty and culture; gorgeous artwork, amazing books, yummy food, and beautiful music was softly playing in the background whenever I stopped in for a visit. Her yard was always a masterpiece. It is tucked up right against the mountain, and I cannot imagine a more gorgeous setting. She grew orchids inside, and an array of beauty outdoors. And on top of that she has always been one of the most classy looking ladies I've ever known!
Yesterday was her funeral. It was a beautiful service. A few of my aunts and uncles spoke, and I so enjoyed hearing their memories of Grandma! One of my favorite moments during the service was when some of the great grandchildren stool to sing Families Can Be Together Forever. My boys were thrilled to be able to take part, and it was so special to hear them sing. Here are the lyrics:
1. I have a fam'ly here on earth.
They are so good to me.
I want to share my life with them through all eternity.
Fam'lies can be together forever
Through Heav'nly Father's plan.
I always want to be with my own family,
And the Lord has shown me how I can.
The Lord has shown me how I can.
2. While I am in my early years,
I'll prepare most carefully,
So I can marry in God's temple for eternity.
Text: Ruth M. Gardner, 1927-1999. (c) 1980 IRI
Music: Vanja Y. Watkins, b. 1938. (c) 1980 IRI
It made me reflect upon her legacy and some things I'd like to carry forward in my own family. Plus, it was so wonderful to gather with extended family and celebrate her life. I am grateful to be her granddaughter. Love you, Grandma. xx
Her obituary is here. http://www.lindquistmortuary.com/notices/Mary-Margaret-Hunter