22 Mar

"She" is the one in the middle. Taken Christmas 2010.

Exactly one week ago today I found myself mystified that she was gone. My great-grandmother lived to the ripe old age of 96 and was always an integral part of my growing up. While extended family members moved away to more exciting locales my family chose to stay in the small town our ancestors helped found. We had her all to ourselves for the duration of our formative years. Eventually we all migrated to Regina, including her, and the unabashed monopoly on great granny continued.

She endured amazing hardships; married and buried two husbands, watched as 3 of her 6 children passed before she did, and felt the weight of accepting her own physical failings one by one. As the world whirled around her tiny little frame she held fast to her rosary, her faith was never shaken.

While most of her peers (senior seniors) went through the prayerful motions and lived out their faith solely because it was expected, my great granny lived it out of love. She had found God in a profound way and longed to converse with Him everyday. This deep relationship with the great I Am never resulted in her raising her hands and proclaiming the Gospel wildly, instead she lived it. Her love and patience seemed unbounded. Her faith planted seeds of faith in all of our hearts.

So here I am with years of education under my belt, realizing that the greatest teacher I ever had was a small farm girl with no more than a grade 5 education. If I was to attempt to emulate a role model in living out my faith as a teacher in the Catholic school system, she would be that role model.

We buried her 3 days ago, a ritual practised all around the world for centuries. This ritual has now taken on new meaning. In the case of my dear great granny, burial has become for me the ultimate symbol of a life gone to seed.


2 Responses to “Seeds”

  1. courosa March 22, 2011 at 4:09 am #

    Beautiful tribute, and my deepest condolences for your loss. Thank you so much for sharing the photograph and her story here.

  2. P March 22, 2011 at 5:20 am #

    Dear Emily, thanks so much for sharing this beautiful statement and eloquent tribute to your grandma. I can see you have the gift of composing from your heart, as such a message could be found to be nothing less.

    In the few times I met her, I could indeed find this to be true. Considering all she went through and carried it is a remarkable witness that she carried the joy that she did. I would guess that even she realized the gift that was and the grace it carried.

    In a way I too am graced by her, for it is plausible that if she had not been such a powerful witness you may not have been led to circumstances where we met or developed to the person that you have become. If it is of any merit, one can see that those seeds she helped plant by being the hands for God have indeed sprouted and are bearing fruit today. I am including your family, but if anything, one could measure it in you alone. I won’t go into extended detail and potentially embarrass you, since this posting is also a part of a class project, but I will say that you have been a bold witness in my life. I do not imagine I’m alone in saying this. The new seeds are now left in the care of yours and your family’s hands.

    My condolences for your loss. It would not be a stretch to imagine she is still praying for you. I hope she is able to bless you in a new way as you continue to embark on your journey.

    God bless you and your great-grandmother!

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