Monday, December 13, 2010

Tribute to Grandmas

This blog post is a tribute to my sweet grandmother Nancy Williams. She passed away Dec. 4, 2010 in Plymouth, MA at the age of 84. This woman was literally a Saint.

For as Long as I can remember, my grandma has been the most giving person I have ever met. She has knitted thousands of hats for babies in the local hospitals, knitted many sweaters for the cold children in Afghanistan, and been a friend to countless old widows who needed a friend. When my mom was young, my grandma taught herself how to read braille and bought a braille machine (looks like a type writer). Every night after dinner, she would translate books to braille and then send the transcripts to libraries all over the country.

Not only was she extremely selfless, but she was so thrifty and creative! My grandparents used to drive in their motor-home from Plymouth to San Diego every other summer to come visit my family. One summer, they were passing through the agricultural check point coming into California. The man asked if they had any fruits or vegetables. My grandpa told him that they had a bag of apples. The man told them they had to give them up, but my grandma refused to waste perfectly good apples! So instead.. my grandpa put the motor-home in reverse and parked on the side of the road while my grandma made the apples into applesauce. When they passed through the check point, they told the man all they had was applesauce, and he let them through without hesitation. She is truly an inspiration.

At her tallest, she was only 4 foot 11 inches and probably only weighed about 80 lbs. But she showed more strength and resilience than most.

My grandmas funeral was held at, The Second Church of Plymouth, the church my grandma attended faithfully for many many years. Both my mom and uncle gave beautiful memories of their mother. Here is a quote from my uncle Craig; it pretty much sums it up:

"Let's imagine a passer-by out on the sidewalk, a person who doesn't know that we've gathered to honor the memory of a tiny old lady, a lady whose name is almost unknown outside of her family and circle of friends. The passer-by notices the large number of people gathered around the church. Through the windows he can see that the building is full. He says, 'Wow! a crowd like that must have come together to honor a great and powerful person!' And you know what? He's right... because the power to do good in the world has nothing to do with physical size and strength, and mom achieved greatness through countless acts of kindness that serves as an inspiration to us all."

Reflecting on my grandma’s life makes me realize how much more I could be doing. She dedicated her entire life to serving others and never thought twice when the opportunity arose to show love toward others. I'm grateful to have had two wonderful grandmothers that have been such great examples to me. Unfortunately, both of them have passed away within the past couple months, but I'm grateful to have had them in my life for so long.

This picture was taken just a couple weeks ago. It is a picture of my grandma standing in front of a loaf of bread, a pound of butter, a bag of flour, dozen eggs and a couple other things. With all of her coupons and rewards card, the grocery store ended up owing her 17 cents! The manager told her he couldn't give her 17 cents and so she said, " oh that's fine. The free food is enough." She walked out of the store with a bag of free groceries. (and yes, she knitted that sweater). My grandma rocks.

My Uncle Kevin, mom, grandpa and Uncle Craig.

The family with my grandpa! (I dyed my hair dark)

All my grandmas grandchildren were able to make it to her funeral, except for one, my brother Steven who is currently deployed.

The whole Williams gang.

Side note: I have always been able to knit. I don't actually remember being taught. I always assumed it was my mom because she is the one who taught me how to sew and garden. But I knit back-handed (backwards) and my mom doesn't. I always thought it was weird. Well I found out this weekend that it was my grandma who taught me how, and she also knits back handed! I better start putting those skills to use. After all, there are still babies who need hats and children who need sweaters.