Sunday, July 31, 2011

Remembering Grandma Nixon

I wanted to share about the women that played a role in the woman that I am today. More than 1 person has helped me become the Terri that I now am but I am going to share about my Paternal Grandmother, Eva Helen Rogers Nixon, fondly known as Grandma Nixon to me. 1 week ago today my dear Grandmother passed away at the age of 89. I just got back in town last night from traveling to Manitoba Canada for her funeral. My grandparents would of celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary next year. They have shared a lifetime of love, memories, joy, laughter, sorrow and heartache. The day of her funeral my Grandfather said Oh I should tell Eva that. I am sure he will say that lots over the next few weeks and months. Losing a Grandmother is hard but losing a partner in life of 69 years I can truly only imagine how lost he must feel at times without her.

In May my husband and two children traveled to Manitoba to see my Grandma while she was in the hospital. I am so glad we had those 7 days of short little visits every day. Some days it was 30 minutes other 45 or 60. With an active chatty 3 year old and a 5 year old the visits needed to be short. She was thrilled to see her great grandchildren and so happy to see Ron and I. She loved her grandson in law. He was a good catch she would always tell me. She was right he is my one in a million treasure. We had hot chocolate and Timbits from Tim Horton's with my Grandpa. I went shopping for some new clothes for her so she could wear more comfortable shirts and pants. I was happy to do anything I could for a women who has done so much for me over the years.

She taught me to bake her famous and delicious homemade buns or rolls as they call them in the south. I called her more than once when I tried to make them on my own. I would call every time I made rhubarb pie to get her recipe. I would always right it on a scrap piece of paper and never enter it in my cookbook. Finally I felt so bad the 4 or 5 time I called to get it as I was cutting up the rhubarb I got my cookbook that has all my favorite recipes and I called her with pen and book in hand. I learned one of my favorite card games from Grandma & Grandpa, "500". It is a trump card game you play in teams with 4 people. One night when we were playing Ron had made a move that messed up Grandma’s next move and she leaned over the table and said “You’re going have ice in your bed tonight!” I learned to crochet and knit from my Grandma. She loved teaching and showing me and seeing the things I was making. I sewed my first pin cushion with Grandma; it was made of flannel yellow fabric with lambs on it. She helped me learn more complicated sewing machine stitches and some hand sewn stitches. She loved to see the items I embroidered and to hear about how my business had grown. I know she was very proud of the women that I became as a person, wife and as a mom now myself.

We had talks about so many different things over the year. She always loved to hear about a favorite bible verse or what I had learned at church that week. We both went to two very different style of churches but we loved and followed the same Savior. I remember when I was younger after being at church with my grandparents asking my Grandma if she knew that God has sent Jesus his son to earth to die for our sins. And that if we believed in him and had a personal relationship with him we would spend eternity with him in Heaven. She laughed and said yes she knew that and asked me why I had asked. I told her that just because you go to church isn't enough and I wanted to make sure she knew since I hadn't heard her pastor talk about that at church. She laughed and gave me a big hug. She said yes she did know that and told me they do talk about it just maybe not as often as I had heard it at my church. She was touched that I wanted to make sure she would be in Heaven with me one day. I think I was maybe 7 or 8. As I got older I had no doubt of her personal relation with Christ. She had such a strong Faith and she trusted God. It was an honor to be one of her pallbearer at her funeral. There are 6 grandchildren and I can only imagine the sight it was for my Grandpa to see Grandma surrounded by her grandchildren.

I wore red lipstick on the day of her funeral in remembrance of my Grandma. I maybe wear lipstick 20 days a year not a staple for me. But my Grandma almost always had lipstick on and usually red. When I was younger after a day of shopping and frequent bathroom stops I finally said “Why do you keep putting more lipstick on in every bathroom”. She said “it doesn’t stay on” and I told her “someone should make lipstick you don’t have to keep applying” and she said “yes Terri someone should make that kind of lipstick!”

We stopped at the farm my grandparents have lived at for most of their lives and all had a moment of just being in the home and farm where we all have such wonderful memories. I asked my Aunt if she would like to take my Grandma’s orange Tupperware measuring spoons and cups. She said she had her yellow ones once Grandma wasn’t baking as often she didn’t need a second set anymore. My Aunt thought my Grandma would be thrilled with the thought of me baking with her baking cups and spoons. I told my Grandpa I was going to take them so I could bake with Grandma’s set. He said “Well that will be good that way you can measure correctly”. It made me laugh because I think he missed the fact I wanted them because they were hers and I already do have some. But it was still cute his response. I also have her Bible that she was given in 1940 from her Mother. In it she has some of her Mother’s hand writing and then quite a bit of hers. She has the marriage to Howard Nixon in the family record page and the births of her 4 children and the deaths of 2 of her 4 children. She added the marriages of her children and has my name and birth year written. After that she must of switched to another bible since the other 5 grandchildren were not listed and there were no more noted after 1983 I think. I am sure the register is not filled out in my bible but having seen how her bible is a great comfort and treasured item for me to have I now see the importance in having things with our handwriting. So much is done by phone or email or text. I hope my children will always know that’s my Mom’s handwriting.



Shelly said...

Terri this is a lovely tribute to your Grandmother. She sounds like she was a TRULY wonderful lady. I am glad you have such fond memories with your Grandmother. She will live on through you and your girls.


Kathy Read said...

What a wonderful tribute to your Grandmother. And how lucky you got to have such wonderful memories. She sounds like a sweet soul!
Bless you and your family,

Renie said...

This is wonderfully written about your Grandma and as your Mom I am very proud of what you have written. Your Grandma loved you beyond measure and would love what you have written about her. The relationship between Grandparents and Grandchildren is different than between parent and child. But it all makes up a power family unit. Grandma Nixon was a stong woman who spoke her mind and was an equal partner in her marriage of 69 years. Grandpa Nixon allowed her to be who she was. I am so glad you had the strong ties with them and Liberty and Maverick got to know them. I am so proud of you. She also taught you how to nest tea cups..Love your Mama