in Family, Life

Writer’s Block Filled With Memories

I don’t know if it’s writer’s block exactly, but more like a life block. Too much has happened in life lately that it feels overwhelming to try to write something here. When I have blocks like this, I find it helps just to quickly write something – anything – so that I can overcome the block. So here it is. A quick mental dump. Feel free to move along if you’re looking for more Apple/tech thoughts.

My wife and I both buried a grandma last week. My wife’s grandma’s funeral on Monday and then my grandma’s on Tuesday. My grandma’s death was sudden and relatively unexpected. My wife’s grandma had been sick for a little while so it wasn’t a complete shock, but both equally sad to lose a mom, grandma and great-grandma. It’s interesting the way people respond when I tell them how both women died. Questions of “How old was she?”, “Was she sick?” “Is her husband still alive?” are all questions I would ask if I was in the same situation and is just part of how we cope with death.

You can read about my wife’s grandma via my wife’s sister’s blog post, 1922-2011. One quote I’ll pull from her post that could equally apply to my grandma is this:

Grandma was the anchor, the matriarch of the family. She always knew what was going on in each of her children and grandchildren (and great-grandchildren!)’s lives, and kept us all informed.

My grandma had an incredible memory for dates and the history of her family and friends. Birthdays, deaths, farm moves, and everything in between was recalled faster than you could Google it.

Shortly before my Grandma passed, we had just finished work on her memoirs which we had self-published through Lulu.com. We published it mainly for family and close friends, but you’re welcome to pick up a copy in either print or PDF format. (Whatever minor profits come from the sale of the book are going back to support MCC and other charities she supported.)

She was an amazing woman with incredible strength, faith in God and love for her family and those around her. I’m more than a little biased, but I think her story is worth reading even if you didn’t get the chance to know her.

I’ll finish by reposting what I read at my Grandma’s funeral as part of the program to highlight her story.

“The day was May 23rd, 1995.

As I entered my home that evening, I knew I was turning over another chapter in my life. My life would from this day forward be forever different than it had been for many years previous.

I had just returned from the hospital where my husband of 52 years, John, had passed away.

I would now be alone.

Yes, my children and grandchildren would come for a visit regularly but for the most part I would be alone.

It was one of those cruel realities of life. John and I had spent many years together and we knew one of us would more than likely pass away before the other, but it was still hard to believe it had actually happened to me.

It happened to my mother. She survived 37 years of widow hood. Now it was my turn.

I was alone.

God help me.

Lord, give me strength for each day. I knew the God who looked after my mother for all those years would also look after me.”

It’s with these words that Grandma Enns chose to start her memoirs. Nearly every person that I’ve shown her story to has teared up on page one. And that’s only part of her tremendous story.

My wife, Susan and I, marveled at the part of the story where Grandma finds out she’s having a baby – when she already has a 2 year old and 5 month old twins keeping her busy.

Somehow she managed to do it without the Internet, Starbucks, or a microwave.

You’d never know the hardships she endured by the joy and love she showed to everyone she encountered.

God did give her strength for each day, as He does for each of us on this day.