Thursday, October 31, 2013

celebrating my grandma clark

although my grandma clark was nearly 90 years old (this december), her passing at the beginning of september came as a big surprise. on saturday she and my grandpa (who is 91) were at the idaho state fair and as my grandma stepped up on the shuttle that would take them back to their car at the end of the day, her foot got caught and she fell backward, cracking her head. she was taken to the hospital in blackfoot and then was life flighted to the hospital in pocatello (where they live). sadly she never regained consciousness and on monday morning she was taken off life support, surrounded by her husband and 5 children. even now, it all seems surreal. wasn't my grandma beautiful?!
connor and i drove to pocatello with my dad (and connor was an angel baby and slept the entire 9 hour trip, except when i fed him at lunch). all 22 of my grandma's grandchildren were able to come from all over the country. my cousin said it best when he said it was a testament to my grandma that everyone was there. it was such a great reunion! we haven't all been together for years and our first night there we stayed up until 2am talking. 
i think this is such a tender moment captured
a sweet picture of my cousins
my mom's cousin karen did so much in preparation for the funeral, as well as sending us a disk with pictures from the viewing and funeral. and she loved snuggling connor. 
the funeral was such a beautiful tribute to my grandma. i loved hearing about her life. funny stories about all the tricks she and her identical twin sister played on others (like switching dates!).  life was an adventure. she was a a small town girl from idaho, who had never been further than california. and then she married my grandpa and after he had been in germany for awhile, she took a train to nyc and then a boat to germany all by herself to meet him. another time she traveled by herself and her 3 small children on a boat to japan (which took weeks). the ships didn't have stabilizers then and my grandma would get horribly sea sick. my mom remembers getting strapped into their beds at night so they wouldn't fall out! my grandparents loved traveling and traveled all over the world (list below from the funeral program of the places they visited. i think some are missing though). i remember visiting their house and looking at the map that had pins stuck of all the places they had been. they sacrificed a lot personally to take their extended family on amazing trips so we could experience the world, build relationships and create memories together. i definitely think i get my wanderlust from them! my grandma always looked beautiful. she never left the house without lipstick on and her nails painted. in fact, when my mom got to their house after the accident happened, there was an open bottle of nail polish on the stove. her eyesight had gotten so bad that she painted her nails on the stove so that she had the light to help her see. she had painted her nails that day before they went to the fair. my grandmother loved the gospel and served 3 missions with my grandpa. she was kind and selfless. i'm so grateful i got to see her at the end of may. i love that my grandparents were at the state fair. seriously, how many 91 and nearly 90 year olds are going to the state fair?! they really lived life and i'm glad she left this life living it until the very end! 
all the grandsons
i had to include this picture below because the woman in the picture is edith, my grandma's identical twin sister. it was trippy to be at my grandma's funeral and see edith, who looks and sounds exactly like my grandma. it was weird, but comforting at the same time. almost like getting to see and hear my grandma one last time.
my mom and her siblings
all the grandkids
the original six! it was so great to all be together, even under such sad circumstances. i love my family!
my grandpa and his posterity!
 
for my grandpa's 90th birthday my aunt made tiles and framed things my grandpa always says. i couldn't help but take a picture of some of them that remind me of grandpa!
my grandpa is a tough, tough guy (retired colonel in the army), but boy was he tender when it came to my grandma and loved her fiercely. i love this picture i took of them when i saw them in may (i love that my grandpa is carrying my grandma's purse).
they were married almost 68 years (this december) and he misses her so much. he writes a letter to all of us about once a month and the last letter he wrote had a ps that said, "i am very lonesome. please pray for me." it broke my heart. but my grandpa has a strong testimony of the gospel of jesus christ and he knows he will be with my grandma again. he bore a powerful testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel when he spoke at the funeral and challenged us all to live it more fully. the gospel brings such peace. i am grateful for the legacy of testimony left by my grandparents.

1 comment:

Natalie Hobbs said...

Such a sweet tribute to your grandma. I can see the resemblance between you and her. Sorry for your loss. Even though they've lived a long, rich life, its always so hard to see them go, especially when they've been such an huge part of your life for so long.