Saturday, November 08, 2008

my grandma...


This is my Grandma Vida. I took this picture just about two years ago, at her 80th birthday surprise party. I blogged about it here. The next day, we met together to have a huge family picture taken. I'm glad we did. Grandma's health hasn't been well since before this photo was taken...but at the beginning of the summer, she really started getting bad. She spent several weeks in the hospital and even when she returned to her home, she was pretty much bed-ridden. It was hard to see her in pain and frustrated that she couldn't do what she wanted to watch her as she couldn't get her body to move and function no matter how hard she willed it. Luckily, though, her mind remained clear and sharp. Yesterday morning, my grandma returned Home. I'm sure there was an amazing reunion in Heaven...her parents, husband, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and so many more people were there to welcome her Home.

Yesterday was a hard day. Meagan especially has been upset and crying. She is glad that Grandma isn't suffering anymore...but she cries uncontrollably in (almost continuous) spurts. She had promised Grandma that she'd play the piano for tape herself and then take it to Grandma's house to let her watch it on her TV...but we didn't get it done in time. Meagan asked if she could play the piano for Grandma at her viewing. I thought it was the most precious thing I'd ever heard. She spent all evening practicing a song and crying all the while. It means a lot to her to do this for Grandma.

I didn't tell Josh until he got home from school because I know how sensitive he is. I am glad I waited. His sweet little eyes welled up with tears and he just hugged me for a really long time. He had a lot of questions and we talked for quite a while...then he seemed to be okay.

The little boys don't really understand it...Seth keeps saying "I'm sad that Grandma died." They seem to take everything completely matter-of-factly. Grandma went to Heaven. She's there with Jesus. We'll see her again when we die. End of story. Oh, the faith of little children...

So, obviously, I've been thinking a lot about Grandma for the last 24 hours...and because this is my journal, I wanted to record some of those random thoughts here.

  • We call her Grandma Vida instead of Grandma Sweat...I think that's my fault since I'm the oldest grandchild...but she didn't seem to mind.grandma_and_me
  • We grew up on the same block where Grandma lived (two houses away and then we moved around the corner when i was about 12), so we saw her a lot...except for the little while when she lived in Idaho.
  • She was always doing something crafty...I remember bead creations, sewing projects, quilts, and so much more.
  • I have her to thank for my webbed toes - ah, genetics!!
  • She called her couch "the davenport" - I always thought that was so funny
  • I loved to go to her house when I was little to help her clean - I thought was so fun that she let us use the vacuum to clean her kitchen floor (instead of a broom).
  • She taught me how to embroider and crochet (only the embroidering skills "stuck")
  • She worked at the Homestead where she prepared huge banquets of fancy food (she told us about a month ago that she had photos of these spreads in an album and she'd love to show us...if only she could get up and go find them...)
  • She also cleaned a motion picture studio office in Park City. I remember her taking Kristy and me with her a couple of times (I think it was when Rustin...or maybe Tony...was born and mom was in the hospital.) We found old Grizzly Adams scripts in the trash and Grandma let us take them home to play with them. We spent hours playing with them. We also got to laugh into a microphone for a "voice over" one night...she tickled us to make us laugh for the guy who was doing the work on the movie.
  • She always liked to play "rub a dub dub, 3 men in a tub, how many fingers do I hold up" on our backs when we went to her house.
  • She also liked to count our ribs when we were little. :)
  • Grandma had a tradition of cooking Christmas Day Lunch for everyone in the family...until the family got too big to fit in her little house (when we all started getting married and having babies)
  • Grandma had very nice, fancy handwriting (I never did get it made into a font...and I absolutely regret it)
  • She was passionate about family history and genealogy and spent hours and hours and hours working on it
  • Grandma was one of those people to "tell it like she saw it." Especially when we were younger.
  • She was a really hard worker - she built her own addition on her house and did lots of other projects herself. She told us not too long ago, that if something needed to be done, she figured out how to do it and got it done all by herself.
  • a few years ago, she gave us each this photo with the explanation grandma"See...Grandma was young and pretty once...and I just wanted you to know."
  • ...Only she said "purty." (she also said "battry" instead of "battery")
  • She made doll clothes and sold them - and gave them to her granddaughters - we had the biggest Cabbage Patch Doll wardrobe ever.
  • She loved listening to General Conference and would put her little cassette recorder next to the TV so she could replay the conference talks over and over. When I was in high school, I got a fancy schmancy double-deck boom box and she asked me to make copies of her cassettes because they were getting worn out.
  • Grandma always had her scriptures or a church-doctrine type of book next to her chair
  • She always gave us Certs or Tic-Tacs Mints during church on Sundays
  • She spent a lot of years making dresses and blankets to donate to the Church's humanitarian program
  • She drove herself to the hospital to see Zachary when he was born...that had to be one of the last times she drove herself anywhere.
  • I used a few of the photos I took of her at her 80th birthday party for Making Memories projects...and she thought it was pretty fun to have her picture on product packaging - she said she was famous!6x6_memoriestags_cosmopink transparency_queen_for_a_day_6x6
  • She didn't ever see this page:michaels_chelsie_layout3

The last few times we went to visit Grandma, she wasn't awake. The last time we visited her when she was awake, Josh and I both gave her a hug before we left. I'm so glad we did. I took the kids over to her house Thursday afternoon. Of course, she wasn't awake...but I hope she knew we were there. We knew she didn't have much time left, and I wanted to see her one last even though my boys were crazy loud and spent most of the time playing with the dog, I'm so glad we went.

I can't even begin to express how grateful I am to KNOW that this is not the end. That there is a Heaven where a loving Heavenly Father waits for each of his children to fulfill their mission here on earth and then return home to live with Him. To know that families CAN be together for eternity, as long as the correct steps are taken while in mortality, is a true blessing and comfort when we lose someone we love. I'm so grateful Grandma took these even though it is hard to know that she is gone for now, I know that it is not forever...She knew it and I know it...what an amazing blessing that is.

Good-bye, Grandma Vida...until we meet again...


  1. Wendy, Thank you so much for doing this about Grandma Vida. It brings back many memories to me. We are so blessed to have had her as the Grandmother for our children.

  2. Wendy- I am so sorry to hear about your Grandma. What a beautiful tribute to her. She sounds like a wonderful lady!

  3. So sorry to hear about your Grandma. Your post was just beautiful!

  4. So sorry for your loss. I am so glad you have such wonderful memories of your grandma! I also have wonderful memeories of both of my grandma's and how funny one of my grandma's always called our couch the davenport (haven't heard that term in so many years).

  5. What a lovely post about your grandma! I'm so sorry for your loss, but like you said, you're so lucky to know that this is not the end! Hugs to you!

  6. Lovely tribute. Very very touching! "Purty" and "Battry" cracked me up....must be a Grandma thing...mine says that too! what memories to cherish! Praying for you and your family during this time!

  7. i was so sorry to hear about your grandma. this is such a touching and beautiful post. you have such vivid memories of her ... and i think it's great that you got it all down here to remember forever.

  8. So very sorry for your loss. She is now with her Heavenly Father, and is happy & free of all her pain.

  9. I'm sorry for you loss, she sounds like a remarkable lady. And, you were blessed to have her... I just love the picture of the two of you when you were tiny, you were just the cutest thing.

    I hope you'll feel peace and comfort as you mourn her passing. Tell Meagan she is a sweetheart - what a precious little soul!

  10. So sorry to hear about your Grandma. We are thinking of you and your family.

  11. It's always so hard to be the family left behind, but it's so wonderful to imagine those sweet reunions taking place. I hope you and all your family can feel the peace and comfort found in the gospel. My sincerest condolences.

  12. Wendy, I'm really sorry to hear about your Grandma. What a beautiful tribute to her. Thanks for letting us have a glimpse of who your grandma was. Hugs girl!

  13. I am so sorry to hear about your grandma. My thoughts are with you and your family!

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. your Grandma sounds like a amazing woman. You are so lucky to have had such a close relationship with her. Sorry for your loss.



  16. grandmas are such a blessing
    thank-you for sharing yours with us
    she sounds lovely
    my own will be 99 in a few weeks