Saturday was a day my family had hoped would come later than sooner.
My wife's grandmother, Elta Wonder, passed away Saturday morning after several trips to the hospital and nursing homes for rehabilitation. She was 91, and just a month shy of her 92nd birthday.
She was a wonderful lady.
I must first state that she spoiled me rotten! She treated me like her grandson, and always went out of her way to make me feel welcome. Why? Because that's what she enjoyed.
We had several things in common, including the joy of good foods. I'll never forget when we had her out for dinner and Deb would fix pork chops. It's a good thing no one had a video camera rolling. Grandma and I would both attack those pork chop bones like hungry dogs. I'll never forget that smile on her face when she would look up at me to make sure I was doing the same.
Whenever she picked out a restaurant, I truly believe it all depended on what dessert it had to offer. Dessert was important. Actually, I should say a piece of pie was important. She and her daughters, Beverly and Joyce, would look over the pie selection upon their arrival, and if the selection was picked over, you could tell they were disappointed. I teased grandma about that from time to time.
I know grandma had a special place in my daughter Rachael's heart. Grandma came home with us when we brought Rachael home from the hospital when she was born. Grandma spent several days with us to help take care of Rachael and Deb.
(Remember the spoiled rotten part? Grandma took pretty good care of me too.)
We have an old rocking chair that was my Grandpa Pruett's (it has to be close to 100 years old), and grandma would rock in that chair for hours while holding Rachael. That's a picture Deb and I will never forget.
Rachael produced a DVD of pictures featuring grandma a few years ago (including music), and it was played at the family Christmas that year. It was emotional then. It was viewed several times between Saturday and her burial Monday, and you can imagine what followed.
Deb told me she adored her grandmother. They had a lot in common too. Deb didn't grow up playing a lot of sports or spending a lot of time on the family farm. She loved to cook. And grandma loved to cook, and she sort of took Deb under her wing. Deb uses "grandma's recipes" all the time.
The funny thing is, grandma used to always say about her cooking, "It probably ain't fit to eat." She was always wrong.
I'm sure grandma had her faults like everyone else, but her good qualities outshined them to the point that they didn't surface around me the past 26 years.
Grandma was an excellent example to her daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren when it came to her spiritual life. She was a Christian and proud to tell anyone who would listen.
Pastor David Atkins of Linton Assembly of God pointed out several times at the graveside service that grandma's death wasn't the end but the beginning. Grandma knew that life on earth was important, but not for material things. It was important to prepare for her meeting the Lord upon her death.
Her life was a preparation for the end and a new beginning.
I know grandma no longer has to use her Pink Cadillac (that's what I used to call her walker) to get around. She's jumping for joy because her almost 92 years on earth were worthwhile! She's with the Lord and couldn't be happier!
We should all strive for the same.