Thursday, December 26, 2013

My Grandma - Helen Fehr

Well, my grandmother on my Mom's side passed away just before Thanksgiving.  Her funeral took place Thanksgiving weekend in Saskatoon and, you know what?  It was a great time.  My brother told me that he made this comment to a friend who then asked him oh, was it a good sermon?  Truth be told, neither of us were quite sure exactly what the sermon was about.  The weekend was really great for so many other reasons.  We laid Grandma to rest but we know that she loved Jesus and that we will be reunited with her one day in heaven.  While that doesn't make us miss her less here, it really does give a hope unlike any other and it always seems to take the edge off the funeral.  Truly, the weekend felt like old times.  It felt like any other get together we had had at Grandma Fehr's house when I was a kid.  I've been to gatherings since I've grown up but they've never quite had that same feel.  This weekend did.  It was times spent together with cousins and aunts and uncles and, yes, there was sadness, but there was joy and camaraderie, too.  I know that this will be the last time that things will ever feel just like that but it was one last hurrah so to speak (and I mean this all with the greatest respect - if it weren't for my grandmother, we never would have had those good times to begin with).

I ended up being roped into (voluntold) doing the grandchildren's tribute at the funeral - at least it was with two of my other cousins (one who was also voluntold and the third one that we made come up with us :) ).  These were cousins that I grew up with and spent most of our childhood gatherings with.  There were a couple of hiccups, but we'll just pass those over.  We just read memories that many of the grandchildren had written the night before.  I hadn't been at that gathering so I hadn't actually contributed a memory, but I'm not good on the spot, either.  When I thought about it, the memories that first popped into my head were of Grandma, sitting around the Christmas tree, handing out gifts to everyone, young and old.  She always had something and figured out how to make sure we'd got something that we enjoyed.  The other memory that I had thought of was when I was just out of high school and she was driving the same direction as us.  She didn't like to drive long ways by herself so I drove her halfway in her car.  I didn't have a clue what we'd talk about for a couple of hours but I needn't have worried, the conversation just flower and she was so easy to talk to.  I also realized that I didn't feel a need to write a tribute at her funeral, because I had written my tribute to her when I had done up a photo book for her 80th birthday.  I feel very blessed that she was able to meet all four of my children.  I truly thought I had a picture of her with each of my boys individually as babies but I can't find one of her and Jonathan so here are the other three...

Great-Grandma Fehr with Alexander

Great-Grandma Fehr with Evan

Great-Grandma Fehr with Bradley

So, I will just leave you with a copy of the tribute I wrote to her in my photo book a couple of years back...

Family is a treasure that not everyone is so blessed to have.  The memories that we store up from our childhood can resonate and comfort for years to come.  I feel so blessed to be a part of this Fehr family.  There are memories that I think back fondly on and always bring a smile to my face.  Things like getting kicked out of the kitchen while Grandma, Mom and the aunts prepared holiday meals (I understand now that there are kids running around my house!) or finally being old enough to sit and visit with the aunts and uncles.  There were many giggles and fun had in the spare bedroom as the four of us cousins (Amanda, Karina, April and myself - Sandra) shut ourselves in there for hours on end.  Then there was the treat of getting to sleep on the hospital bed (as we called it) in the basement.  That was the BEST bed!!  I remember the wooden ottoman full of toys and presents being handed out around the Christmas tree.  There were Easter treats hidden in the basement (and SO hard to find when Uncle Gord hid them).  There were the treasured visits with Aunt Elaine and Uncle Steve, since they so often lived far away and camping at the lake in the summer time.  The unseen legacy of a God-fearing and loving family is one of the most valuable things that we can pass down.  For these, and many more reasons, I feel like I have a treasure in being part of the Isaac and Helen Fehr family.

Until next time...

PS The cutest thing of the whole day was the tactless interest of my 3-year-old in how they were going to get Great-Grandma and her coffin down into the hole.  He made sure he had a front row view and watched very carefully as they used the straps to lower it down.  He tells me it was the favourite part of his day.  I'm sure Great-Grandma would take that for what it's really worth.  He always has been interested in how things work.

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