Many of you may know that I recently lost my Grandma. It was both bittersweet and fitting that she would decide to go on May 11, 2013; the day before Mother’s Day. Bittersweet, because as my family and I celebrated our Mothers, Aunts, and Grandmothers, we did so with a heavy heart, knowing that my Grandma (or as the Great Grandkids knew her, Grandma GG(GG for Great Grandma), wouldn’t be here on earth to celebrate with. Fitting, because if you knew my Grandma, she did everything in her own time, and when she felt like it. Fitting, only because she decided to go when she was surrounded by family and there was laughter in her house again. And even though it was hard and I miss my Grandma….there was nowhere else I wanted to be.
I got a phone call that Saturday morning from my Aunt. She said that Grandma only had maybe 24 hours. I’m not going to tell details of what lead to that 24 hour timeframe, but know that my Grandma wasn’t sick with cancer or another form of disease, but at 86 years old, she had lived a full life and she was being called home. Needless to say, my family and I were aware that the time we would have with my Grandma would be short. When I got that phone call, I was finishing up a cake order for a birthday party. Something that wouldn’t have surprised my Grandma, since she always asked if I was “still making cakes.” She was always, in her own quiet way, very supportive of KB Cakes & Creations. I always tell people my art and “craftiness” comes from my grandparents and my parents. My Grandpa was a painter and woodworker, which were passed down to my Dad, who used to do a lot of woodworking. My Grandma enjoyed latch hooking and I can remember her always making pie, which was passed down to my Mom, who taught me to crochet and bake. It’s amazing the legacies that are created when things are shared with the next generation, something I hope to pass on to my kids and nieces and nephews. My Grandma knew the importance of family, tradition, and leaning on the Lord for everything.
After delivering the cake order, I traveled down to my Grandma’s house once again, finding my parents and other family there. Slowly over the next few hours, several more family members arrived. Everyone handles the death of a loved one in a different way, and for me, I just needed to be there to say goodbye one more time, be there for my parents. During the last few minutes I spent with my Grandma, I was thankful for a really good visit several weeks before, and for the brief time I spent with her earlier in the week when she could still communicate. But during this time with her, I told her that I loved her and that it was ok. She could go when she was ready. Mostly, with tears, I just was with her, quietly, praying. When she did finally go, it was with my Mother standing by her side, my cousin nearby, and the rest of us telling stories and memories and laughing, with tears of sadness and joy at the same time.
At her funeral, her flower arrangements had one of her favorite flowers in it, a daisy. Regular and gerber. As is sometimes done, each of us, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, took a flower from her arrangement at the gravesite. Some of mine will be turned into memory beads, something that I do thru KB Cakes and Creations, but never had to do for my own loved one. And I have other reminders of my Grandma, and cherished memories.
This post is dedicated to my Grandma: for being a true spitfire of a woman, for passing on the “Huffman stubbornness”, and loving all of her crazy family. Having been there with her when she passed, I will be forever grateful that I got to say Goodbye one more time. And it has shown me that family is so important, and I have an amazing family. She was a country and gospel fan, but this song just seemed to fit for me…..Rest now, Grandma. We love you!