Tuesday, March 8, 2016

My Grandma Shepherd

Abraham Lincoln so lovingly said, "All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother." Which pretty much hits the nail right on the head but the same thing could be said about my Grandmother.

It has taken me a little too long to really appreciate my Grandma for who she is. I think my sweet Grandpa stole the spotlight from her a lot during their time together. Grandpa was seen as the fun loving, tan, smiley guy who always tried to tickle your neck while Grandma was strict, the one who was always in charge, always gave you a bowl of ice cream at her house, & was the one who made you clean your rooms.
 I recall a time when my parents were out of town & my Grandma was staying with us while they were gone. My cousin Kiley wanted us to meet her at Seven Peaks. My Grandma said we could go after we cleaned our rooms. So what did I do?? Made my bed, picked up a few things then shoved everything else under my bed. Now my Grandma is no fool she knew exactly what I had done to clean my room so fast. She came in to inspect my room & being the clever woman she is used a broom stick to pull out everything I had shoved under my bed. In that moment I thought what a drag she is such a clean freak, but now when I think back to that memory I am reminded of a very important lesson she was trying to teach me. She was teaching me to follow through on my word. She was teaching me to do a good job the first time so I wouldn't have to do it again. She was teaching me to keep my room clean. She was teaching me that she loved me. 

As a wife & mother I have noticed I am 100 times happier when my house is clean. {A cluttered house equals a cluttered mind}If my house is a mess I can not relax. My mind just keeps thinking of what I need to get done & I don't get a moments rest until it is clean. I take pride in keeping up on my house because I feel that my house is a reflection of me.

Even when she was having us clean our rooms & go through our toys (if we hadn't played with them in the last 6 month they were donated to the D.I.) she never once made us clean alone. She was always kneeling down next to us helping clean our rooms. She taught me that "cleanliness is next to godliness" & that many hands make light work. I can't help but see the correlation between the way she would help us with the way the Lord helps all of us each & every day. He does not stand above us barking orders & telling us what to do, he is there kneeling beside us helping us along the way. He has shown us by his example the way to happiness & he leads by example, just like my Grandma does.

My Grandmother also gave me my love for music. My Grandma has the most beautiful singing voice. In high school she was in a quartet & would sing for many school functions. She is nothing short of an artist in her craft for music as she led her ward choir & directed the music for many year. Any time she tells that story she talks about how unworthy she probably was to be in that calling. That she didn't know what she was doing & that she was always so nervous each time she got up to lead the music or conduct the choir. My mother said you would have never know she felt like that because it was the most beautiful ward choir she ever heard. Much like our clean rooms my Grandmother expected nothing less of perfection & that included herself. She passed down her voice & her love of music to my mother, who has now passed it onto me. Anytime I have ever sang at church my Grandma has come to watch me. I look down at her in the audience & see her beaming with joy. She is always so encouraging, always telling me to share my gift with others. Another thing that I will carry with me for the rest of my life is the comment she always made to me before I was going up to sing. If you prepare yourself & give 99.9% the Lord will give you that 1% & bring you to 100%. She started telling me that at a very young age & has continued saying it to me my entire life. That started a relationship with my Heavenly Father teaching me that if i do all I can the Lord will make up the rest. This taught me to rely on the Lord for the things I need help with. 

 My Grandmother has been through so much in her life & she has handled all of it with such love, grace, & more understanding than anyone I have ever known. When I was 16 & obviously naive I would tell my mom that I am never going to be like you when I grow up. Pretty much anyone who knows me can attest that I am exactly like my mother in every way. Which in turn means I'm exactly like my Grandmother in every way because my mom is an exact copy of her. Which I am more than happy about now because she is a beautiful person inside & out. 

When my Grandpa passed away so unexpectedly there was so much I wish I could have said & done before he left us. What I wouldn't give to tell him that I loved him & have him ask me to roll my big, beautiful eyes at him one last time. But I have treasured the time I have spent really getting to know my Grandmother better. Going to her house, spending countless hours listening to her talk about my Grandpa, their life together & her life experiences. 

Grandma, I love you more than I can ever express in words. You are such a great example to me & you have been a constant light in my life. Thank you for loving me enough to try to teach me how to do things right the first time. Thank you for teaching my mom all the lessons that you have taught me. Thank you for raising your family in the gospel. Thank you for always bringing a wonderful spirit with you every where you go. Thank you for showing me the importance of serving others. Thank you for expecting more of me & helping me become who I am today. Thank you for making Fish Lake such a special place. Thank you for all the memories that I cherish. I know you wont live on this earth forever but I can't even imagine my world without you in it. I don't know who I would be without you. I'm so grateful you were able to meet Brynlie, when I was pregnant I prayed so often & asked God to keep you here long enough to meet her. It completely melts my heart when I see her with you. I cant wait to share stories with her about my amazing Grandmother & remind her know how much you love her. It meant the world to me to have you come to the hospital when I was in labor & basically refuse to leave when it was after midnight. I will never forget how eager you were to come see us, but when you opened the door we were still sleeping so you went to the nursery for two hours & just watched Brynlie. I adore all of your visits with us. Brynlie loves her Great Grandma so much.

I absolutely dread the day when you will be called back up to Heaven. I know that when you leave us you won't really be gone. You will be watching over all of your family who you love so much. But that doesn't mean I won't miss seeing your sweet face. I will be so happy that you are reunited with the love of your life who you have been apart from way too long. When I was 16 I never thought any ones death would break my heart more but i honestly don't know what I will do without you. You are my example. my idol, the constant light, my best friend, my everything, My grandma Shepherd. I love you.

I want to be just like you when I grow up. 

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