Three weeks ago today, my grandmother, Mildred Eugenia Dake, passed away. She was 95 years, 7 months, and 3 days old. She was grand.
There is so much to be said about this woman. She left a legacy of faith, of musical ability, of hard working self determination, of resourcefulness, the list goes on and on.
But I'd like to share some of the things I remember most.
I remember Grandmother coming to see me in Florida. All the way from Arkansas. I remember her staying a long time and taking care of me when I was little.
I remember staying with Grandmother in the summers, for about 4-5 years in a row, from 6th to 10th grade. She would make me breakfast every day. I would wake up to the sound of the smoke alarm beeping, the smell of bacon, and the sights of Phil Donahue and Sally Jesse Raphael.
I remember Grandmother talking a lot. She seemed to tell you whatever came into her head. Lots and lots of stories about her formative years. Stories you had heard many times before, that you knew by heart, but you listened to politely because you knew how much she enjoyed telling it.
I remember Grandmother adding lots of accessories to her outfits. And many times attaching beads or jewels to the clothing itself. She did what she liked and she didn't care what anyone else thought.
I remember playing with her Avon bottles in the bathtub. She used to sell Avon products.
I remember going to her church, First Baptist Midland, and watching her sing in the choir and then sit right in front to hear the preacher.
I remember Grandmothers love for quilting. (And that she was not afraid to stick a bumper sticker to her living room wall.)
I remember in college Grandmother sent me a note on which she had pasted multiple
pictures of herself.
I remember that Grandmother loved all her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. (And one great-great grandchild!)
When I found out she was in her final days, I knew I wanted to journey to Grandmothers house one last time and be there with my family for her memorial. It was going to be cold. My mom texted me and said I could wear one of Grandmothers winter coats. This made me feel warm inside. I looked forward to that most of all.
I took some photographs in her house, of things I remember. She lived there for over 70 years. I wish it could stay the same forever. These old photographs were lying around. I propped this up and realized I had made her look like a unicorn, with the glass candlestick coming out of the top of her head. But I like it there. It's cool. And she totally could have pulled it off. (Or maybe my kids just watch too much My Little Pony.)
I gathered all her Avon bottles to bring home, which I chose when she asked me at age 13 what I wanted to have when she died.
I enjoyed seeing extended family and witnessing such gracious and kind people who all came from Grandmothers family tree.
Grandmother is in heaven now. She is praising God and I praise God for her.