Sweet Virgina

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This is not my favorite post to have to write.

My sweet grandmother Virginia Gross went to heaven last week.

The timing of it all made it pretty tough to process and grieve, what with it being midterms. Josh and I took a whirlwind 2 night trip up to Ohio this week to attend the funeral, but even after the all of the ceremony, I’m still a bit in shock.

Death has a way of making you think about someone in a completely different way than you ever have. It is a shame, really, that many times we don’t get to appreciate the fullness of a life until they are gone. I knew a lot about my Grandmother’s life before she left this earth. I knew her and personality and her past. But somehow it all comes together into a beautiful, sad, deeper way when they are no longer sitting across from you at a table. You allow yourself to step back and think about their time on earth as one long story, and it makes you wish you had pieced it together long before they had passed.
My grandmother was an incredible seamstress, baker, gardener, book-keeper, and care taker. She was smart and detailed and remembered everything about everyone. She kept up with the people she loved, and like many who lived through the Depression, she was resourceful and frugal. The pastor speaking at her funeral put it brilliantly when she described my grandmother as a “domestic engineer”. I LOVE that job title. She made home making look easy, which now that I have tried it I can say that it most certainly is NOT.
Sweet Virginia gave me a lot in this life. Probably most importantly, she gave me a mom. She raised my mom in love, and that love was carried on to me as I grew up. I would be nowhere without the love of my Mom. It was the rock I stood on growing up, and a rock I still stand on now.

She gave me a deep, passionate, undying love for pie. Blackberry and cherry to be specific. And goodness, homegirl could bake some pie. There is no better taste in the world to me than grandmother’s pie. It is second to none.

She gave me a home when I was first born. My dad was deployed in Korea with the Air Force for most of my first year of life. My grandparents opened their home up to me and my mom and sister, and I can’t imagine what that must have meant to our family back then. What new mom of two couldn’t use the help of her parents in such a big transitional time in life?

She gave me a deep appreciation of health. God bless that woman for how well she took care of herself. She ate flax seeds decades before it was cool. She took shots of apple cider vinegar (and no, I can’t imagine she ever enjoyed it). She exercised well into her 80s. She ate foods she planted with her own hands. She was so well read on how to take care of yourself, it is no wonder she lived to 92. I am deeply inspired by her dedication to caring for her body.

I will miss my grandmother very much. She worked hard and loved well, two things I can only pray are spoken about me when I’ve left his world one day. I’m so grateful for all these years I got to spend with her and the legacy she leaves behind. I’m thankful for the family I get to be a part of and the time I got to spend in Ohio this week. Though my heart aches at the thought of her being gone, it is also full with gratitude and contentment.

Hug your loved ones tight today. This life is so short. Make it one full of love and forgiveness and lots and lots of pie.

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