Friday, December 31, 2010

how will YOU be remembered?

My Grandma {Virginia} Johnson lived 82 years and for that, I am so thankful...

She passed away on December 26th, 2010. She had been battling Alzheimer's for quite some time and was slowly getting worse by the year, and within this last year, she was getting worse by the month. We all hurt deeply watching her slip into a body and mind that wasn't her own. But yet, I still cherished the chance to be able to hug her and tell her that I loved her whenever I could...even if she didn't recognize my voice or my face. I was preparing myself for that day I would be forced to say goodbye.

Growing up, my grandparents' home was my second was the place where all 34 of the Johnson clan would meet for holiday get togethers. A place where my siblings and I would go if we were sick and had to stay home, but my mom had to work. It was a place where almost every Sunday night we would go over to their house after church and have apple slices and popcorn. My grandma loved doing anything she could for her grandkids and there was never a moment where I didn't see that. She rarely sat down and was always doing something for someone.

Grandpa & Grandma with 10 out of their 12 grandkids

On Christmas Day 2010 my parents got a phone call that my grandma wouldn't have much longer to live and so for the rest of Christmas evening they went to be with my grandpa as he prepared to say goodbye to the love of his life...she held on just a little bit longer until 11:45 PM on December 26th. My grandpa and grandma had been married for 60+ years! For my grandpa, she was his world, his everything, and he couldn't imagine life without her...even with her slowly slipping away day by day. It was heartbreaking to watch him try so hard to let her go. She didn't know who this man was that came to feed her for every meal, but yet he still never missed a meal if he could help it. This man loved and adored his wife so much that he never failed to tell her that. He would still hold her hand and call her his bride when he went to visit her. All she could do was stare blankly across the room, but I have no doubt that she still heard those words even if she wasn't able to express her love back.

My mom shared with me, that on Christmas night when they went to be with her during what they thought were her final hours, my grandpa leaned over and whispered in her ear that he was finally OK with letting her go and that he would be fine. Part of me believes that she held on for so long just for her to hear those words...that he would be OK with her leaving him here. To me, that's how she showed him that she loved him. She wanted him to be OK without her.

My grandma was an amazing woman. She was selfless in every way imaginable, tender-hearted, caring, full of adventure (she had to be for all the fishing trips and motor home rides she traveled with my grandpa!), always thought of others and wanted to give to others as much as she could. Her smile and laughter is a memory that will never fade. With the passing of my grandma, I have been asking myself A do I want to be remembered? So many special moments and memories have been shared about my grandma and the kind of person she was. She has such an amazing legacy that I am so proud to be her granddaughter...I want to leave the kind of legacy she left. I want to be remembered like that.

I am so thankful I was blessed with 32 years of my life having this wonderful person to call my grandma. She was there when both of my children were born. Her smile would light up when I brought my kids close to her face and would say, "Grandma, these are your great-grandchildren". She loved kids, and in the last years of her life, she often would only smile when there were kids coming to greet her.

I am forever grateful for these pictures...

Grandpa & Grandma with Mikayla

Grandma with Mikayla
Grandpa & Grandma with Austin
Grandma with Austin

Grandma & Grandpa with Mikayla & Austin
Although my heart hurts that I no longer will get to see her here on Earth, I know without a doubt that she is laughing and dancing with Jesus, looking down on all of her family here on Earth smiling and as happy as she could ever be because she no longer has to live in a broken body. She has a new life!

This place was no longer her was time for her to let go.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas is over? SAY WHAT?!

Ummm...yea. I guess I didn't quite get the blogging bug during December. I missed a whole Christmas season worth of fun things to share! However, I did do more of my picture sharing on my Facebook page. Short and sweet. Things just seemed way too busy to be wordy, and for some reason I feel like I can't make a blog post without being wordy. Interesting...

So, now that Christmas is over and all the decorations are down (except for a few snowmen here and there...I'm still hoping for SNOW this winter), what happens next?

One of my first "crafty" projects of 2011 that I would like to accomplish is scrapbooking my Christmas photo cards I receive from family and friends. I blogged about this "way back when" (January 2009 to be exact...seems forever ago!). Here is a sneak peek from that post and click on the picture below if you want all the details. (pssst...can I confess something? I haven't scrapbooked my photos I received for Christmas 2009 yet. Eek! This will definitely be a goal of mine for the month of January to do TWO year's worth!)

{a sample 2008 page from my Christmas album}

This year I hung my Christmas photo cards onto ribbon and put them in the window of our kitchen. By the end of the month, I had so many cards that I could have made a second garland, but didn't get around to it (geez...what's new?). I'll remember that for next year! I used mini clothespins that {for next year} I plan to decorate to make them a little more festive. This year, I just knew that I wanted to get them UP!! And, if I kept waiting to get the clothespins decorated, they never would have gone up, so I just did it and that added little touch will just have to be a "must do" for next year's Christmas planning!

What do you do with your Christmas photo cards, letters, and Christmas cards after Christmas? I'd love to hear!

Be looking for a post (soon, I hope!) to show you my accomplishment of getting both 2009 & 2010 scrapbooked and ready to share!

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I realize Christmas is already over and it's probably too late to share my decor for this year, but let's pretend it's still Christmas for just one more day! ;)

Hope you all had a
Merry Christmas!!

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