13 February 2012


yesterday i woke to news that my grandma had died. we knew this was coming and knew she welcomed release from the struggle of failing lungs, knew she was looking forward to Jesus somethin' fierce. but there's a certain ache in being the left-behinds, and so we sob into bed sheets and showers and hold close the hope of all things made new.

she was the last of my grandparents, and i suppose it's common to have them gone by 35, but still somehow it feels too soon to me.

[my brothers and me with g&g neuenschwander, 1985. i have no explanation for the giant-ness of my head.]

my grandma was a quintessential farm wife: sturdy, resilient, warm. capable. she knew her way around a sweet roll and a sewing machine. she remembered everyone's favorite pie. she was quick to laugh at herself, worked hard and expected the same from us, brought my brothers and me the tiny eggs from the chicken house, loved to read.

she was funny and opinionated and i miss her already.

on the flip side, my gorgeous little niece arrived last week. kinsley katherine. pretty sure i could inhale her warm squeaky babyness for all the rest of ever.

and this is neither here nor there, but i was downright floored by the valentine box my zee just constructed. the kiddos make these boxes to collect valentines at school, and usually they consult my creative expertise, but zee is very eleven and Full Of His Own Ideas.

his initial plan was to hollow out a log, but as we're not exactly big on wood hewing skills in our family, i thought this route could end badly. so his second plan was to scrape pieces of bark and moss from our woodpile out back and glue them to an oatmeal container. i wasn't exactly encouraging (i believe my exact words were i'm not sure how well that's going to work), but luckily he is not easily dissuaded, because take a gander at this:

i know, right? that thing is beautiful. he should never listen to me again. except for mostly he should, but clearly not that time.

anyhow, the silver lining to losing grandma is my parents and brothers will fly in from oahu tomorrow. i think the last time we have all been together (in our full-bloomed craziness) is four years back. it'll be good to have them near again.

thankful today for:

206. rhubarb pie
207. family
208. friends who help you pick out ties
209. cheryl, who cries with me
210. girl scout cookies
211. mom owens, who bolsters with words and prayer (and the milano cookies don't hurt either)
212. the way a solid night's sleep can change my vision
213. peace enough for this day


kendal said...

i love so many things here. that grandma. the valentine's box. rhubarb pie....you have rhubarb this time of year????

Jodi@ underthegeorgiasun.com said...

I am so sorry about the loss of your Grandma, but I know she's happy to be in her Father's arms. I know how hard it is to lose a Grandma. (((HUGS)))

your little (big) man is pretty darn awesome. :o)

Carolyn said...

Sorry for your loss Nic <3 Regardless of our age the absence of those who loved us up always leaves a whole in the heart.

BTW: Zee's V-box is wonderful. That one is going to think up many more amazing creations! This morning I'm thankful for holes in the heart that remind me that I've been loved and the unique creativity that Abba put in each of us.

K said...

so so sorry for your loss. i still ache with the loss of my grandmothers even years later. what a beautiful relationship and how lucky we are to have that gift from the Father. hang in there, and enjoy the time remembering with family.

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

There's a beauty to the way a family pulls together in grief. The left-behind feeling, as you described it . . . that's so exactly it . . . So glad your family will be there soon to hug you through this.

And oh my, Zee's box is INCREDIBLE. I want one.

Brandee Shafer said...

I'm so sorry. Glad for Jesus's blood making it a separation, not a loss. Love you. Great Valentine's Day box from Zee (Get it?) Genius.

I Live in an Antbed said...

The tears are running down my face. I'm so sorry, dear one. It is hard to say that goodbye. My grandparents, and now my parents are all Home. May your tender heart be held very gently in His Hands as you grieve. There is a precious poem that was shared with me by a friend. Maybe you would enjoy it. (http://iliveinanantbed.blogspot.com/2012/02/i-am-standing-upon-seashore.html)

Jorth said...

So sorry to hear of your loss, darling. xoxo

elizabeth said...

So sorry for your loss but so thankful for Jesus and eternal life. Tell your son that I think his creation is amazing!

Rachel~Wildflower Photography Studio and Wildflower Creative said...

so sorry for your loss. we are nearing that time with my grandma...who happens to be the last one left for me as well. praying for you! :)

happygirl said...

Oh my goodness I love his oatmeal box log. I'm so sorry for your loss. Even when expected, it hurts. God bless you at this difficult time.

Unknown said...

Peace be with you and yours Nic.
She sounds like the kind of woman I'd like to be when I grow up:)

I think your son has inherited his mother's creative talent.

Farmgirl Paints said...

Oh girl I'm so sorry. Praying comfort and peace over you as you grieve for your sweet grandma.

Mommy Emily said...

oh friend ... life is full of so many of these circles, these embraces... that sometimes squeeze too hard then leave you feeling empty. i am praying for you, for it all... and your son is a beautiful genius.

amy luella said...

your life is full. you worded it well when you said, "somehow it feels too soon to me." my great aunt passed at the start of jan. we got several more years with her than we expected, and it still felt that way. that v box is awesome! may you and your family's week ahead be filled with his joy, peace, and love.

keLi said...

no grandparents here either, and yes, it's the strong opinions i miss most. 'twas not a generation for mincing words.

sending prayers for your peace, friend...

grey rose (they/them) said...

beautiful post.
sending a hug, sorry for your loss, grateful for your peace!
happiest day of love to you, darling nic.

Southern Gal said...

So sorry for your loss. The last of my grandparents died when I was 42 and it was too soon.

That Valentine box is amazing. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

i'm so sorry for your loss. expected or not it's still a bunch to deal with. my grandma died when she was almost 102. of course we *knew* it was coming (inevitable at that age) but somehow it just felt like she would live forever. xoxo.

CurlyGirlD said...


Thoughts & prayers are with you & your family. I'm so sorry for your loss.

As for Zee, there's no other word for his V-day box but AMAZING. What creativity you have passed on to your Littles!

Shannan Martin said...

Sorry about your grammy. I felt so similar when mine died a few years ago. I still dream about her sometimes.

About Z's box: Say WHAT? I'm pretty sure he could sell that on Etsy for a mint.

ps - I miss you. Yep.

Michelle said...

Zee's box is awesomely beautiful.

Congratulations on the arrival of your niece Kinsley Katherine!

And I am very sad to hear the news of your Grandma. I hope your family coming together brings you extra comfort.

grey rose (they/them) said...

happy friday, nic.
praying for you xo

Katarina said...

So sorry to hear about your Grandma. And yet, congrats on your niece...it's weird...the circle of life;)