Monday, May 28, 2012
This month marks two years since Grandma Hottell passed away. The month of May now has a new meaning for me. I remember the call I received, saying Grandma had passed away, the slew of trying to get ready with two small children (2 & 8 months at the time) to fly to the funeral, the realization settling in that my children would never get to meet their great-grandmother. This was something I’d hoped for them, longed for them to meet the woman that shaped Papa and his ten siblings into the people they are today.
She was the most gentle person I’ve ever met. You’d think eleven kids would have made her crazy but it seemed to have done the opposite to her. She was serene in all the chaos of 48 grandchildren and over 80 great-grandchildren.
I loved what was shared at her funeral about always being surrounded by little children, them always holding onto her dress or one in her lap. I love thinking of her as a young woman, facing life, upholding her standards with all those little mouths to feed. And never complaining once. That’s what stands out to me the most. I never once in my life heard her complain or say something negative about someone. I know she wasn’t perfect but in mind, as a little child, I loved being around someone who cared so much for God’s people. In the end when she couldn’t remember much (she would always think I was my sister when I talked to her on the phone), she’d tell me about how she met Truth. That’s what resonated most her mind: the thing she loved most, the thing she believed with all her heart.
It was always said that she’d have loved most for her children and grandchildren to be doing what was right more than anything. It’s a huge responsibility to try to live up to, to try to uphold the morals and standards she believed so much in.
I try to help my children know Great Grandma through my memories. They never got to meet her but Elias remembers her funeral and the older two know the stories I tell of the good ole days at Great Grandma’s house.
At the funeral, Elias asked if he could touch her. I told him that she’d be cold since she was no longer in her body and this was just her body lying before us. He said he knew and he wanted to touch her. So, I let him. He said “Mom, she’s cold! Great Grandma needs a blanket!” In his little mind, he only knew of Earth and of how she would be cold if she’d have still been in her body. I told him of Heaven and of how there’s no pain, no heat, no cold there. Hard for his little mind and hard for my little mind to comprehend.
So, as I remember my grandmother this month, I’ll tell my kids stories about the amazing woman she was. Stories about how her door was always open for her children, her grandchildren and the workers. The one who cooked us pancakes and biscuits every time we visited, even her old age. She had no recipe but I’d love to be able to recreate those sweet, fluffy biscuits, to be a little girl in her kitchen once again, to hear her tell people how I just never grew up, how she always thought I’d be tall like my sisters, but I just never grew up. To her, I was “Little Cassie” and when my son questions me about why God made me shorter than Daddy, I’ll tell him about this story, like I did this week, and remind him of the woman that made me proud to be little.