My grandma Anderson, the kids’ great-grandma, passed away today. She had a massive stroke exactly two weeks ago and passed away in her home with my dad and Aunt Elaine there with her.
Last Thursday, Raine and I were able to talk to Grandma on the phone and tell her that we loved her. Grandma couldn’t talk, but she could hear us and knew who we were. All she could say was, “uh-huh,” but that was enough for me to know that she understood.
Grandma holds a very special place in my heart because I was able to help her write her personal history. I got to know her so much better than I otherwise would have. It helped me really appreciate who she was and what she had done in her life.
Grandma was born the youngest daughter of the second wife in a polygamist marriage. Her siblings were all twenty years older than she was and polygamy had been outlawed long before she was born. She grew up on a farm outside Mesa, AZ during the great depression.
The effects of Grandma’s difficult childhood were evident in her living the motto “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” She never did anything half-way; if she was going to do something she took the time to do it right. She could fold a fitted sheet flatter than most people can fold a flat sheet; she made the most delicious hand-dipped chocolates; she kept an immaculately clean house; and she was always sewing quilts for her grandkids. Grandma has traveled the world, including a recent trip to the Holy Land. She lived life to the fullest. Grandma and Grandpa were temple workers at the Mesa Temple for years and left their posterity the gift of their testimonies. Their actions left no doubt about what was most important to them — the gospel and their family.
I will miss my grandma but I know that she is happy to be reunited with Grandpa and the rest of her family. I have plenty of memories to keep her in my heart and every time I fold a grocery bag I will think of her!
The name “Grandma Nana” came about by accident. The kids already have a Grandma Anderson (my mom) so I decided to call Great-Grandma Anderson “Nana.” But I’m so used to calling her Grandma that I would say it out of habit, then catch myself and say “Nana.” Raine heard it as “Grandma Nana” so that is what she started calling her.