Goodbye, Grandmother

Thelma Moore, my husband’s family matriarch of 103 years, recently passed away.

What a treasure of family heritage I have been blessed with exposure to and can now pass on!  Unfortunately I do not live close to my grandparents or great-grandparents, and only see them on special occasions.  “Grandmother Moore” as she liked to be called by grandkids (“G.G.” to the great-grandkids) was there for each family event she could host or attend.  She was there for my wedding almost five years ago.  She lived in her own home until very recently, when she chose to go live at the retirement center “with all of her friends.”

Grandmother Moore liked a good story, and loved creativity — and art.  Her paintings are beautiful and usually catch the Texas countryside or family history in some way.  There are great stories to go along with some of them…. like the time horses stomped up onto the wooden sidewalk and into a country store during a fight, or when Indians visited her family.

As my husband says, this woman saw the advent (and often the invent) of things like cars, refrigerators, freezers, space flight, and civil rights and liberties for women and minorities.  She watched the decline of the 20s and the hardship of the Great Depression from the front row.  She was alive through all of that as well as other countless moments of history.  She has lived that many years… to contemplate this boggles my mind.

Not many families know or have such a connection to the past… it gives me a feeling of solidarity as a human being, to really stop and see the flesh-and-blood connection to those past-times.  Even better when they share the same faith and can answer some solid questions about it, like the time that an 80-something friend of mine told me how Psalm 23 has always seemed fresh to her, each time she reads it; that God would show her something new.  Grandmother Moore believed in God and the gift he has given us through Jesus Christ.  She knew, no matter her shortcomings or achievements, that she was held in the palm of His hand, called holy and acceptable.

In the process of new family life and living an hour-and-a-half from her, I only usually got to hang out with her with other people around, but I am thankful for each memory of course.  And I got to have a special brunch with her and my Mom-in-law and Aunt-in-law.  That was a fun day!  I was a new bride and desperately wanted to find their approval.  I asked them to meet me at a local-to-them restaurant and we chatted over our favorite country dishes and hot coffee.  I was so touched when she wanted to meet the newest grandkids after they were born (see above and below).

Thanks, God, for letting me see that it is possible to have fun and be active all the way up ’til my dying day. I hope that I can live to see all my offspring like that, and know them by name like she did, enjoying their company.

I look forward to some longer chats, and knowing her better, in heaven.  I bet we’ll both have bluebonnets and Texas wildflowers growing in big outdoor gardens!  Until then, Grandmother Moore, rest in peace.

Thanks for reading, Friends.

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