Today, we are at a memorial service for Brad’s great grandmother. By the time I came along, my great grandparents were already gone, so I had no idea how great it was to have a great grandmother. To be the most accurate though, due to the different family dynamics, Brad’s great grandmother (grandma Raymond) was only 2 years older than my grandmother.
When Brad and I were planning our wedding, she and Brad’s grandmother bought their dresses for our wedding together. The next time she saw us, she asked for me to look at her dress. “It’s very shiny and is that okay? If it’s too shiny to wear to your wedding, I will find another dress,” she said. The dress was beautiful and she looked great in it at our wedding. I appreciated that she wanted my input.
She was creative and I loved it when I would compliment her outfit or accessories (she was a stylish lady) and she would say, “Thank you, I made this.” She made beautiful clothes and even refashioned some accessories. Once she was wearing a cute pair of earrings that had a silver circle stud with a metallic pink teardrop dangling from it. When my mother-in-law said, “I love your earrings.” Grandma Raymond said thank you and went on to explain that they had been boring silver earrings so she took out her pink nail polish and made them two-toned.
She was the youngest of eight children and grew up on a farm. Not long ago she told us the story of her almost arranged marriage as a child (I think she said she was 12), all because she could sew. A neighbor woman had commissioned her to make a dress. After being pleased with the dress, the lady and her husband proposed that grandma Raymond be pledged to marry their son. Grandma Raymond’s parents said no. This was in the 1930s, right here in Ohio.
The same day she told us the story of the almost arranged marriage, she told us how they used to harvest onions on the farm and talked about going to school in the winter.
Every year, she made a Christmas dinner for the family. She cooked and cooked and cooked. She made amazing food. Last Christmas she made a sweet potato dish. I found a foil-wrapped sweet potato on my plate. She had baked me a sweet potato because the dish had a lot of sugar in it and she didn’t want me to miss out on sweet potatoes or have a problem. The same evening, she taught us the proper way to compact wrapping paper… by flopping down on the bag to squash it.