Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesdays with Wanda

(This is a weekly post that I will be doing to honor my wonderful mother, Wanda, who passed away on September 22, 2009. It is a place for me to share precious memories of her…for myself, for you, and most importantly, for my children.)

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I was thinking about what to write about Mom this week, and my mind has been flooded with many precious memories.

And to be honest…it hurts.

It hurts that all I have now is memories.

I want my mom.

She has been gone four weeks now, and I still reach for the phone everyday to call her.

I would call her every morning while taking the kids to school, just to discuss the day’s plans.

I would usually call her again that afternoon when picking the kids up from school, usually to talk about my blog.

I miss her.

She had the most beautiful voice. And she was always glad to hear mine.

It just doesn’t seem real.

I thought she would be here longer. And so did she.

A few weeks before she passed away, she told me that all she wanted to be was “a chubby, gray-haired grandma.”

She LOVED being a grandmother.

And I want my kids to always know that.

She adored every one of her grandchildren!

When Mom found out she had cancer, she handled it with grace and beauty. She had a peace in the Lord that was unlike anything I had ever seen in my life. We never saw her cry or break down about her illness. Which was not like my mom. She usually would cry at the drop of a hat….at commercials, at sentimental stories, at the mention of her own mother who passed away seven years ago. Mom had a huge tender heart.

You may think she cried when we were not there. But here’s the thing, we were always there. From the time she found out she had cancer, someone was always with her. We even slept in the floor by her at night.

I never heard her cry.

But I did see her fight back tears….

every time her grandchildren came to visit.

She realized she may never see them grow up. She desperately wanted to be a part of their lives. To love them, to guide them, to spoil them.

She was always looking for ways to spoil them.

She bought a Mickey Mouse pancake maker to make pancakes for breakfast when they would spend the night. My boys loved those Mickey Mouse pancakes!

She had a “grandkid” room full of puzzles, games, and bunk beds ready and waiting for their visits.

She loved to make homemade play dough with them, or delicious homemade cookies. And she would always let them help make them, never caring about the mess they made.

She would send them cards on special occasions, and cards for no special reason at all, but just to say she loved them.

She loved going to their basketball and baseball games, piano recitals, dance recitals, school events, church performances, and whatever else they were involved in.

Mom LOVED being a grandma.

She didn’t feel her job as “Mom” was over when her kids got big. She felt her job as “Mom” became even GREATER when she became a grandmother.

I have her computer at my house now, and it is full of files containing inspirational words and stories.

She had a file titled “grandparents”.

I clicked on it to find a file full of little quotes about being a grandparent.

I wanted to share some of them with you.

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“What a bargain grandchildren are! I give them my loose change, and they give me a million dollars' worth of pleasure!”

mom's pictures 039

“Few things are more delightful than grandchildren fighting over your lap.”

my pictures 712

“What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies.”

my pictures 317

“A mother becomes a true grandmother the day she stops noticing the terrible things her children do because she is so enchanted with the wonderful things her grandchildren do.”

my pictures 513

“A grandmother is a babysitter who watches the kids instead of the television.”

mom's pictures 056

“Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our hearts forever.”

my pictures 1533

“Grandmother-grandchild relationships are simple. Grandmas are short on criticism and long on love.”

mom's pictures 009

A garden of Love grows in a Grandmother's heart.

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“If I had known how wonderful it would be to have grandchildren, I'd have had them first.” ~Lois Wyse

mom's pictures 036

“The history of our grandparents is remembered not with rose petals but in the laughter and tears of their children and their children's children. It is into us that the lives of grandparents have gone. It is in us that their history becomes a future.” ~Charles and Ann Morse

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Mom will definitely be forever in our laughter and our tears. She has left a legacy of love for many generations.

Today, I pray a special blessing on all grandmothers.

And I thank God for the gift of my wonderful mother.

Blessings to each of you,






P.S. I made a beautiful new friend in blogland…Aime at Small House…Large Love.

She had read about my mom’s passing and was inspired to write a post about her mom. She has written a beautiful poem honoring her Godly mother that brought me to tears.

Go check it out, and receive a blessing!

28 comments:

  1. Dear Traci, What a lovely tribute to your Mom! I can see a special glow in her smile in all of the pictures,especially those here she is hugging a Granchild! What a lucky woman she is to have such a happy family.
    Traci, when you mentioned that she has a file full of "Grand-mother" quotes...I got chills up my spine as this morning I was looking for Grandma quotes on the inter-net as I have been waiting patiently for my first Gran-baby ...she is going to be named Jalina Rose after all of her Grandmothers on the maternal side. I can hardly wait to be a Grandma, it is a true blessing. I love the quotes your Mom has found for me...I guess I must have some of her "grand-mother" wonderful qualities already...as my eyes swell with tears each time I think of being there with my daughter in labor and delivery...as I see her hold her child for the very first time!
    Traci...I will look forward to your posts now on Wednesdays...I look forward to hearing more about your Mom...I know that she had a special "light-up" quality about her from the photos I see and the words that you so heartfully express! I see also Traci that she has passed to you a special light...Shine dear Traci... shine!
    God bless you...and yours!

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  2. Wonderful post Traci. I love the quotes. My eldest is in college right now - freshman. And though I don't want any now -I can't wait to be a grandmother some day. I see how my mother loves it and it just seems so rewarding.
    Am thinking of you often.
    tammy

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  3. Traci, you have understaken and lovely and loving project on Wednesdays with Wanda. I always enjoy your posts, but Wed. is a very special day. Thanks. Linda

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  4. Dear Traci,
    I am so sorry that you lost your Mother last month. She sounds like an incredible woman. It touched my heart even more because I am a Grandma and I know the love that she must have had for you and the grandchildren. What a precious tribute that you gave to her in your post and I know that she must be very proud of you. I know the loss of my Dad left an emptyness in my heart and my children adored their Papa. I know that I felt him near many times when I was missing him so badly that it hurt. But we have great memories of him. That was a very special poem as well. I am sure that you pay tribute to your mother as well, by being a great mom to your children. With the world the way that it is, isn't wonderful that we had such incredible parents. It makes it even that much more special that we knew them and that they were in our lives and we were fortunate to have them as a parent!

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  5. Oh, Traci, I sure hope I can be that kind of Grandma when my time comes. My daughter in law decided that my "grandma name" will be Peaches...I sure hope I can be a grandma like Wanda was!! Keep sharing, I'm learning! ;)
    Thanks so much for opening your wounded heart to share such treasures. I pray God's peace and comfort for you today.

    Suzanne

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  6. Oh Traci, I love your posts about your mom. She is such a remarkeable woman. I love the grandma quotes and I really love being a grandma. God Bless. Hugs, Marty

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  7. Thanks for sharing. My heart goes out to you. And because of you, I'm going to take pictures of my kids with my mom more often.

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  8. Your mom was an incredible woman and it saddens me so much that she isn't going to see her grandchildren grow up, as you said. I am fighting back the tears. I think you are so very brave and sweet. I look forward to Wednesday with Wanda...

    xoxo
    Janie

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  9. She was a beautiful and loving person, you can tell by her pictures. I still miss my Mother and she has been gone many years. I too would call her several times a week after I got the kids off to school. I miss those calls to this day.

    Willow

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  10. I am having to fight back the tears after reading as I'm sure everyone else is also.

    Your mother sounds like such an amazing mom, and grandmother.

    Thank you so much for sharing. You are making me think of my own grandma. Thanks for the reminder to never take her or any other family for granted!

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  11. What an amazing mom you had. Such a great post, a great tribute. I'm so sorry to hear you lost her so recently. I just posted about my mom today as well...your post reminds me again not to take her for granted.
    peace to you.

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  12. I tried to comment before, not sure it went thru...just wanted to say how amazing your mom was, and you've honored her so well with this (and other) posts recently. I also posted about my mom today...you remind me not to take her for granted.
    peace.

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  13. You do your mother proud, Traci! Your tribute to her inspires me to be the best mom I can be. Beautifully written!

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  14. What a beautiful post Traci. I love reading about your Mom. Love the photos too. You have an amazing family.
    God Bless you all today.
    (((Hugs))))
    Denise

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  15. Traci,

    I so can relate to this beautiful post because I am a "Grandma" to three of the most precious grandsons, ages 2 (twins) and a ten month old. Thanks for sharing this with us. It has touched my heart in so many ways. I'm going this evening to give them a big hug and kiss from Grandma.

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  16. I absolutely cherish your blog. It's almost better than going to church. Everytime I read your blog it keeps me intune with my faith in God, my morals, and my love for my family. Thank you so much. I really appreciate you.

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  17. what an amazing post - big hugs and love to you!!! your mom was a wonderful woman! :)

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  18. Traci,
    You mom was such a beautiful lady inside and out. I know that it had to hurt you today as you wrote this post about her. I know that it also made you so proud to have had such a beautiful,loving,caring,mother and friend. My eyes filled with tears as I read all of the quotes that she had in her file and all of the photos to go with it. I know that she was saddened to know that she wouldn't be able to see all of her grand children grow up. But thanks to you, her beautiful daughter, her grandchildren will always know that they had a grandma that loved them with all of her heart. This was such a beautiful post and well written from your heart. I did a post about my mom earlier today. Today is her birthday and we don't get to see each other too much. We spent the day together yesterday. We only live 30 minutes apart. Well...thanks to you, things are gonna change.

    Hugs,
    Lee Laurie

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  19. Lovely tribute to your Mom. I cried when I read her joyful insights into being a grandmother. Thanks for sharing this with me.
    Joyce

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  20. Traci ~ This was such a beutiful post and a wonderful tribute to your mom. I have also lost my mother, 4 years ago, and not a day goes by that I don't ache to call and talk to her again. You have your beautiful memories of her and we are so lucky to have those. My heart aches with you...

    Thank you for visiting my blog, it let me to yours.

    Lou Cinda

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  21. Yet another beautiful tribute to your Mom. Reading these thoughts make me anxious for the day I become a Grandmother. Your Mom is certainly a great example. Thank you for sharing this. I hope in some way it helps comfort your heart as you miss her.

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  22. What a beautiful tribute and brought me to tears....The pictures are breath taking....I love my grandchildren more than life....Thanks for your Mom's great example

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  23. What a lovely post! A grandmother that is a great inspiration and example to other grandmothers. Thank You!

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  24. A wonderful tribute to your mother and wonderful pictures of her being a grandmother. I know your children with treasure those beautiful days with your mom. My daughter (10yo) seldom was able to be around her great grandmother (my grandmother) because of distance, but she still remembers the delightful moments spent with her.

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  25. Dear Traci, I thank you for sharing all these pictures of your mom with her grandchildren. It's obvious that she loved you and Cyndi and your brother greatly, and then she adored your kids! I know you miss her terribly. Isn't it funny how something seemingly insignificant can bring her to mind? The fact is, we just don't plan on our moms not being there. When they get taken away so early, it just leaves a gaping hole in our hearts.

    God bless you, sister. Your heart will heal, I promise. It will not always hurt as much as it hurts now. The hole will be there, but the pain will lessen. Meanwhile, know that you are loved and that many of us are praying for you as you deal with this pain.

    Much love to you and yours.
    Richella

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  26. Traci, I just wanted to write to you and tell you that I check your blog everyday to see if there is anything new :) But Wednesdays I have to read your post in sections because I get so teary-eyed that I can't see the monitor. Your mom seemed like an amazing person and your relationship with your mom reminds me of mine with my mom. I think you're amazing! Stay strong!
    -Raychel

    PS. I had to put myself down as anonymous because I don't have any of the other things listed. My email is PinkeSwear@yahoo.com

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  27. I just found you through Between Naps on the Porch. I loved your post for Met Monday, but then I saw the blog dedicated to your precious mom and wanted to go bk and read more.
    Both you and your mom sound just delightful. Your mom truly left a legacy that is going on ...

    I lost my mom quite suddenly Dec. 30, 2005. She was only 65. This journey you're on is a hard one. I reached for the phone to call Mama every day for 9 months and then for another year I'd think: I gotta call Mom and tell her that...then the pain would come back like it was yesterday.Honestly, I miss her every single day. One of my daughters gave us our first granddaughter in March, it was a difficult delivery for Stephanie and her life was in danger...oh I longed for my mom to be there waiting with me. Only she would have understood what I was feeling...but I believe she's completely aware of what goes on in our lives. Many days in my prayer time, I tell Jesus to give her a hug for me and tell her how very much I miss her...
    My father-in-law left this earth just last week, in hospice, saying good-bye to him, I whispered: "pls, tell mom I miss her and love her"...
    You will travel the journey of grief that so many have traveled before and I think you'll learn to live with the pain and you'll ache for someone else when they loose their mom...it's like a club, that no one wants to join, but once you are a part, you completely understand...
    love to you and prayers as you travel your journey of grief...Robin
    All Things Heart and Home

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  28. Tracy, My heart aches for both you and myself. I cannot tell you how many times a day it runs through my head "I need to call Mom and share this with her" or just plain "I miss Mom". So hard. Have you read the book Tear Soup? It was recommended to me. It is great for all ages. Grieving is a hard process, but remembering is a wonderful thing. ~Lanie

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