Thursday, May 11, 2017

Grandma Wolford

Marge and Justin
My Grandma Wolford passed away this morning. She was 92, and lived a wonderful life, so it's an odd mixture of sadness and pain for my dad, but relief for Grandma that I feel this morning.

She was a force of nature, that Marge. She had lots of opinions and wasn't quiet about them. She was also quite charming and loved to meet new people.

Marge loved to sing and would hum the tune of anything, even the pop songs on the radio. She loved my Grandpa Justin for her whole life. Their picture still hangs on the wall of her room at the Judson Palmer home and that is how they'll look in my memory for the rest of my life. When they were young Grandma loved to go dancing and I have always loved those pictures of them cutting a rug.

Grandma Marge, Uncle Arthur, Aunt Patty
Grandma grew up in the country with her Norwegian mom, farmer dad and her two sisters and brother. When the surviving siblings and all of their off-spring are in a room together, the memories of life on a farm flow. It was a different time and it always reminds me how important it is to preserve those memories.

My favorite memories of Grandma involve swimming at her house. She and my grandpa had an awesome pool, screened in, with a slide and a volleyball net. We spent most of our early childhood swimming at that house. I learned how to swim there when my dad threw me in the deep end. Emily lost a tooth in the shallow end. We'd watch Uncle Kevin and his friends in awe as they played volleyball and were just cool.

Grandma was never a very good gift-giver (one year I got shoelaces. Another Bible stories on VHS...even though we didn't have a VCR yet). But when our baby sister Katie was born, she took Emily and I to the mall and let us pick out Cabbage Patch dolls. She also let us get our ears pierced and it was one of the most special days of my 10-year-old life.

Grandma always had a collection of books for us to read (both my grandmothers were awesome at this). She ordered the Sweet Pickles series to keep at her house and we wore those books out. There was a wooden bookshelf in the guest room and that was always the first place I would go when we visited.

Grandma also loved to read, the steamier the romance novel, the better. I remember driving to Florida with her one year when I was 12 and she had a huge bag of books in the backseat. I began to pilfer her stash and I think I might have become a woman on that trip. I definitely learned some things about heaving bosoms and ripping bodices from Grandma's stash of books.

My Aunt Tari was with Grandma when it happened. My hometown's hospital plays a lullaby chime every time a baby is born and within a few minutes of Marge slipping away, Tari heard the lullaby: a reminder of the cycle of life, in all its pain and beauty and fullness. 

I can picture Marge right now, humming that lullaby and finally dancing with Grandpa Justin.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful (and funny in parts)! Thank you for giving us a glimpse into her life and legacy!