Saturday, September 8, 2012

the sad thing

lessons learned from Grandma Bratt

  • a college education is worth every bit of sacrifice
  • a clean house is the only way to go
  • a card in the mail means more than anything
  • a phone call is enough to feel connected even when far away
  • a season of hard work brings a season of rest
  • a fridge filled with great grandson and great granddaughter pictures is worth more value than anything
  • a daily weather check is crucial
  • a family recipe keeps us connected despite distance and even death
  • a good book is always worth the time
  • a positive attitude and a determination to push through tough times makes all the difference
memories I will pass on to my own family
Showing Jason how to make angel food cake
  • She loved sports.  I love that she passed on her love of sports to all of us.  Go Duke and forever in our family, Go Buckeyes!
  • She NEVER EVER forgot my birthday.  From 1-26, my last birthday being on June 28, I have received a birthday card from her.  I don't know if you realize just how significant this is.  I can barely type this without tearing up.  My Grandma never forgot anyone's birthday.  Son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandkids, great grandkids, spouses of grandkids were all included in this special part of my Grandma's life.  I can even tell you that Grandma mailed birthday cards to Jason and I while we were 10,000 miles away in New Zealand.  
  • She had several special recipes that every Bratt has enjoyed.  Christmas cookies, chocolate chip cookies, chicken noodle, green beans, angel food cake, and fruit dip are just some of the special things that she made.  Each of us has taken on the role of continuing on with these recipes.  
  • She was very proud of the fact that all 7 of her grandchildren graduated from college.  Her and my grandpa did not attend college back in the 1930s.  However, they worked hard for the money they earned and were able to live a comfortable life because of their labor.  Their example has made me want to work hard in my studies and settle for nothing less than what I am capable of becoming. 
  • She called my dad every Saturday morning since the beginning of his fateful first job in Holbrook, Arizona.  I have wonderful memories of my dad walking circles around our house while talking to Grandma and Grandpa Bratt. 
  • She introduced us to Cedar Point.  Yes, the magical land of coasters that makes Disneyland look like the carnival in the Safeway parking lot.  I'll never forget riding the Corkscrew, first inverted roller coaster of all time, with my 70+ grandparents and feeling like I hit the jackpot of grandmas and grandpas.  
  • She instilled in all of us, a love of china.  All things Homer Laughlin and especially Fiestaware.  My Grandparents made their living from the pottery industry along the Ohio River.  Though Sterling China is a thing of the past, the offspring, way of life, and love of pottery lives on through granddaughters like me.  
  • She loved special things.  She owned nearly every piece of the Country Rose collection by Royal Albert.  That pattern is forever connected to her.  I can see myself owning the same pattern someday just to be like her. Her home was filled with Lenox and other fine china that showed the fruits of her labor. 
  • She was kind of strict.  My dad is definitely a product of Grandma and Grandpa Bratt.  He expects order in everything.  He wants to be on time with no loud, crying, laughing, silly, or screaming kids.  He is stressed out when the house is messy.  He is just. like. Grandma.  As a kid, I tried to be on my best behavior at Grandma's house because I knew she wouldn't put up with crap.  
  • She met Jason last summer for the first time.  It meant so much to me for her to tell me she approved.  She made sure I knew that he was a handsome guy, respectful husband, and perfect for me.  

If you know me even a little bit, then you know that my whole family loves, loves, loves all things Ohio.  Our summer vacations were Ohio every year without a doubt.  I have spent so many summers, and even some Christmases in this special place.  Ohio is a little bit of the reason I am who I am.  My dad may have moved West after graduating from Ohio State, but he is a product of this place.  His values, taught by Grandma and Grandpa Bratt, have been passed down to us Arizonan grandkids.  

Losing Grandma Bratt was (is) tough.  Getting on an airplane bound for Pittsburgh with the knowledge that my Grandma would not be sitting in the garage waiting for us killed me (all of us).  Driving up her driveway and entering her home-with everything left in the same place she had it-was horrible.  She thought she would be coming home from the hospital.  Therefore, her crossword puzzles were still out next to her chair.  Her list of birthday cards to buy for July and August were out on the table.  Her laundry basket had dirty clothes in them.  These little things made it extremely hard.  

It does not have to be so gloomy though.  Grandma is now in a place of rest.  Best of all, she is reunited with Grandpa, who has been gone since 2002.  I have faith in Heavenly Father's Plan for families.  I know that they will receive an opportunity to hear the gospel in the Spirit World.  I know that my family can help with their ordinance work while we are still on this earth.  I so look forward to that day.  

looking out on the Ohio River before Grandma's funeral

1 comment:

Kerri said...

Oh Larissa, there is nothing comparable to losing a grandparent. I'm so sorry for the ache you feel. Thanks for sharing your memories and adoration for your grandma, it made me smile about mine. Isn't glorious that we have known our grandparents enough to truly love and miss them. We are so very blessed to have known and loved our precious old grandparents.