My sweet grandma, Ila Mae Britt, died a few weeks ago at the ripe old age of 86. You may recognize a few parts of her name because she is both Emery Mae's namesake and my own - something I am very proud of and wanted to pass on to my daughter. She was very special to me and we were very close and to celebrate her life and her passing on to the next I want to share a few special memories - mostly recent ones - of my Gramma.
- Though Gramma and I didn't share a common religion, we shared a common faith. Much of my testimony or faith, the power of prayer and the goodness of God came from watching her and her relationship with God. She was and angel of prayer to me and to many others, as it was easy to see how her relationship with God blessed those around her. Her prayers for her family and others were answered. One of my most cherished memories of my Gramma will always be a conversation we had a few months ago on the phone about the world's declining morals and the things families need to do to stay strong in this scary world. She will be much of my inspiration in that quest to protect my family.
- Gramma and Emery had a very special relationship. Because we were close, she always wanted to be alive to see my babies. When Emery was 2 months old we took a trip to Vegas just to make sure Gramma got to meet her (since her health had been declining for quite some time) and we got to spend much more special time with her in her last month as we were living near her assisted living home. One thing I will never forget is the way Emery studied Gramma. For those of you who have been around Emery at all, she doesn't study anyone. She's too "busy" to make eye contact for more than a second, except for with Gramma. She studied Gramma and looked at her like she was telling her something and would always just lay calm and still by her side whenever we visited her. Gramma was in the hospital for a few days up until she went home the day she passed. Even though she was no longer responsive, my mom had been telling her that Emery was coming to visit her once she left the hospital and got back to her room. When we visited her that day, Emery put her hands on Gramma's face, held her hand and laid next to her. Just 20 minutes after we left, Gramma died. I think she was waiting to say goodbye to Emery.
- Gramma was spunky. I happened to be there on her last coherent night, just a few days before she died. My mom, aunt, sister-in-law and I surrounded her bed and were giggling and telling her that she was spunky and though her eyes were closed, she started chuckling. A few minutes later she opened her eyes for the last time, smiled at the 4 of us, glowed for a short minute at having some of her girls surrounding her and then closed her eyes again. On the spunky note, another fun memory is a game of Scrabble I played with Gramma and my Aunt Sheri a few weeks before she died. Even in her dwindling physical and mental health, she came alive when she played Scrabble. She was unbeatable. This game was a relaxed one though and Gramma made up rules, played funny words, had us hysterically laughing and STILL beat us.
I miss my Gramma so much that it still hurts, but in this 1st experience of losing a family member, I'm thankful for our Heavenly Father's plan of salvation and that I know I will be with her again. Because of her I'm also sure there will be Scrabbe and chocolate in heaven. :) I'm also thankful for the cherished memories we made together and that I will be able to pass her memory, her testimony and her spunk to my children to keep her alive always.
Emery and Gramma sharing a special moment
The 4 generation photo we took about a week before she died