Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday thoughts

I went to my Grandma Taylor's funeral yesterday.

I would say it was a happy funeral -- a funeral for a woman who was in her 90s, and had been lonely for her deceased husband for over 40 years.

It was also an education for me. Of course I knew that she raised her family in Colonia Dublan. I knew she taught piano lessons. I knew she was gritty. But I found out all kinds of things about my grandmother that I never knew:

:: She had one child who was born prematurely (at home) and did not survive.

:: She taught dance lessons.

:: She was determined that her sons would learn practical skills. She taught them to cook, clean, sew, iron, and dance. (Although by the time my dad came along, she must have been busier, because he never learned to cook or dance.) Her oldest son said that by the time he was 10, it was his job to make the cakes for everyone's birthdays. In pretty primitive baking conditions, to boot!

:: During the summer, she would sew the boys shirts for school. One year, she bought a cowboy-print fabric in three colorways and made shirts out of it. She discovered only later, to her great mortification, that there were cigarettes in the pattern. The boys never let her live that down.

:: She bought copies of the Book of Mormon by the case to mark and give away.

:: She was famous for her pecan rolls. (I got the recipe and will be posting it soon.)

How cute is this? My dad is the one on the lower left. Of course I'm biased, but I think he is the most handsome one in the family.

My dad's family is a large one, and I don't see them very often, so I found myself recognizing some people and being clueless about many others. I was able to meet some of my grandfather's brothers, which was exciting as he died before I was born and I didn't even know he still had siblings living.

I came away feeling grateful for sons showing tenderness towards their mothers. And even more grateful for my knowledge of the plan of salvation, for knowing that Nita and Lynn Taylor have finally been reunited.

And for my own selfish reasons, so grateful for an unexpected visit from my darling parents.


Elizabeth said...

Maybe your cousin recognized you from your blog:)
My Grandma's funeral was a similar joy in knowing she was reuniting with her love. My grandpa died before I was born also. I am glad you got to be there with your parents.

lelly said...

when a family gathers at a funeral, it is such a poignent, enlightening time. i love that.

Jill said...

Your grandmother sounds like an amazing woman, no wonder your dad turned out to be such a great man! It's too bad that you didn't know her very well, because it sounds like she was quite a character who had a lot to teach.

Anonymous said...

So sorry about your Grandmother. When I hear stories about some of my relative who have passed I always wish I had known them better. Your Grandma sounds like a great gal.

Claudissima said...

Oh my! Well, reading your embarrassing...don't worry, we were cousins and we did not even know it! It was a sweet surprise for moi! Knowing you from Jill and not family...hehehehhe! (well putting my mom's generation in alignment with your grandfather and then your father and me, sort of speak and then you and my kids....hehehhehehe how about for jumping a generation! Your parents look soo stylish! and I did not even know that she waited practically what it would seem a full (40) life to reunite with him! wow.

jenn said...

Michelle! I wondered why you did not have a new post for the last few days- it is like me, not you!

I'm sorry about your grandmother- she does sound amazing. I'm glad it was a happy funeral- is it weird to like those?! And I'm happy you got to visit with your parents.

rebekah said...

What a long life and wonderful legacy. I imagine she's so happy right now.

Susan said...

I also, am happy to have learned thing about Grandma Taylor that I didn't know! I loved the expressions of tenderness and gratitude from all the Taylor boys and one sister.

But I feel pretty cheated that Dad missed out on learning the cake-baking, dancing and cooking!!! I do think he does many things the other brothers wouldn't have a clue about.

It was an unexpected surprise to have a short visit with you too. All in all, a very good weekend.

I'm happy for Grandma and Grandpa Taylor.

Marie said...

Don't feel bad - I'm sure that cousin was doing a lot of what I was doing - identifying people by observing who they spent time with and then using the process of elimination. I admit that I recognized you from your blog. :)

And Aunt Susan, don't feel like you missed out on a lot of cake making - I don't remember Dad EVER making a cake - I think he quit that as soon as he left home! He does make breakfast every Christmas and cooks nearly every meal when we are camping though - so he did remember some of what Grandma taught him.

Becky said...

I've been to a handful of happy funerals and love them. This sounded like a good one. "Meeting" family is always an interesting experience as well!

Speaking of that, I am intrigued to find out what line of Taylors you come from as that is MY maiden name too!

P.S. Good luck with the candy thing...I'm wondering whether I'm brave enough to give up chocolate............

jt said...

comment moderation, eh? why so?

jt said...

Yeah, I totally get not recognizing your cousins;)
I wish I had been able to be there- not only for mom & dad's visit, but I would have loved to hear about Grandma Taylor, never having known her very well myself. I'm glad that she has a legacy in her children who were able to gather together and pay tribute, in word, and as a reflection of their lives.
But dad totally is the cutest. Its a fact.

emily said...

Your Grandma Taylor sounds like a wonderful woman. I love that we can learn something from everybody's life.

I too am grateful for the chance to see Susan and Fred this weekend. I love you all!

Michelle said...

She sounds like an incredible woman! All her sons must have been in high demand with that set of skills. I'm glad you were able to see your parents!

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