Monday, August 16, 2010

Saying goodbye to one of my "Charlottes"

Today my Grandmother's "Magnum Opus" gathered together to celebrate her wonderful life.
I love my Grandma Vivian dearly. And I will miss her.

I've posted this before. I've tried to come up with something else but nothing seems as right as this. So I'll share it again. It comes from my first blog which is now defunct.
(I've added the actual quote from the book)

Thursday, October 04, 2001

I took dinner out to my maternal grandmother tonight. Thursday's are my night to take dinner into her. We (my mom, sisters and sister's in law) take a different night of the week to fix her dinner. She will be 90 on Valentines Day 2002. She is doing amazingly well. She doesn't drive any more but she still works in her garden and around the yard. Anyway McKenna, my four year old daughter, came with me to deliver dinner. We did a drive by dinnering because we still had other places to go. But we went in and gave her hugs and kisses and chatted for a minute.

As we were walking out the door grandma said to take the newspaper that was sitting by the door and drop it off to my dad. As we were driving away McKenna asked why grandma was sending the paper to my dad. I told her it was because she couldn't read it very well because her eyes didn't work as well now that she was old. Then McKenna asked me a question that brought tears to my eyes. "Old like the spider, mom? Old like Charlotte?" She was talking about Charlotte the spider from Charlotte's Web I couldn't answer her because I was choked up. Then she asked "Is she going to die?" When I finally found my voice I told her that yes one day we all die.

"But little kids don't die. Right mom?" That was a question that I didn't think could be answered while driving in a car, her in the back seat and me in the front. I will answer that one later.

As I had time to ponder her question about Charlotte and how it related to my grandmother I realized just how much my mother, my mother-in-law, my grandmothers and all women are like Charlotte.

We all do some pretty amazing things during our lives.

Sometimes the world sits up and takes notice and sometimes they don't but the things that go unnoticed are just as amazing, and most times more so, than those that are noticed.

Everyone paid attention to what Charlotte wrote in her web. It was out there for all to see and it saved the life of her friend, Wilbur. But she considered her greatest accomplishment to be her egg sac, her family, her posterity.

"This is my egg sac,

my magnum opus,

my great work,

the finest thing I have ever made."

I know that I have been amazingly blessed to have six beautiful "Charlotte's" who have influenced my life (there are many more "Charlotte's" that I know but I choose to focus on the ones that are dearest to me). First and foremost my mother, then two incredible biological grandmothers, an amazing mother-in-law and two wonderful grandmothers by marriage. The time is coming, not far off, when some of my "Charlotte's" will no longer be where I can be with them physically. My paternal grandmother's 85th birthday is coming up in March of 2002 and yet it is highly unlikely that she will celebrate that day.

But I will celebrate.
I will celebrate all of these women because even though most of their works were not held up for the whole world to see, they will be held and treasured and kept by me, in my heart. I will carry them through the years and hopefully pass them on to my children. For I know that my six "Charlotte's", like the one created by E.B. White, hold their families to be their greatest accomplishments.

And that, I believe, is as it should be.

Goodbye my sweet "Charolette".
Thank you for all of your unsung work.
Thank you for your sweet smile and the times that you were feisty.
Thank you for delicious rolls.
Thank you for your concern.
Most of all thank you for your unconditional love.
I will Celebrate your life.
And I know that you will be watching from above as we,
your posterity,
send out our little silk threads and set out on our own.

Until we meet again.


Rici said...

Absolutely lovely. She must be so very proud of you. As proud as you are of her. Wonderful tribute.

Kristina P. said...

What a beautiful tribute, Shanna. She is adorable.

Cheeseboy said...

I can feel your love for her streaming through my computer screen. Excellent post.

the fowlers said...

i choked up a little at mckenna's charlotte comment - if it had been me i may have started bawling right then and there.
i love this. it's just beautiful and perfect for the occasion. you're right, couldn't have said it any better.

Angie said...

That is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this. So sorry to hear about your loss. I hope your family is doing well.

Teachinfourth said...

S - You brought tears to my eyes as I thought of one of my 'Charolettes' who passed on a year ago.

Thank you for your beautiful words.

Monica said...

Several of the blogs I read have had some reference to grandparents recently. That combined with life has me really missing my grandmother who passed away five and a half years ago. I'm glad you were able to have such sweet moments with your grandmother.

Missy said...

This is awesome! God Bless...

Amander said...

That is so sweet. What a lovely post.

Vanessa said...

You've told me about your Grandma Vivian! I'm so sorry. I'm thinking about you!

sisterwendy said...

Such a beautiful tribute and post. Thanks Shanna for helping me appreciate my "Charlotte's" today. xoxoxoxo

M-Cat said...

What a beautiful post. Just today, I am missing one of my Charlotte's deeply and painfully.

Cynthia said...

Just beautiful! I had forgotten all about that part of the story. I would most certainly consider my children 'the finest things I have ever made'. Brought tears to my eyes- thank you!