Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Carol Loy Cruse

My Gramma passed away at the end of July. It's taken me a while to gather my thoughts on this significant event but I've decided to write a little bit about her. Read it if you like. She was a magnificent mother, a loving grandmother, and dedicated wife. 


I was so excited! I knew this guy was the one and I couldn't wait to introduce him to my family. He was in college to become a preacher, his dad was a preacher and I knew that would impress my family. We hadn't been together very long, but I was pretty sure I could marry him and live a happy life. So the next time I went to my Gramma and Grandpa's house I told them about him. He's so handsome, he's in school to be a preacher, he's so... And then she asked, "Can you live without him?"

"Huh?" I responded, bewildered.

"Can you live without him?"

It took me a minute but I answered, "Sure... I guess I could... yeah, I could live without him." I was more shocked at my answer now than the question she'd asked.

"Then he's not the one, Sweet heart. Don't settle."

I thought I would just give it a chance. Maybe he was the one... we'd only been together for a while. Maybe I just wasn't really in love yet. When I fell in love with him, then I'd know.

When she hugged me when I left she said, "You'll be fine."

Three weeks later we broke up. I was a little bit sad, but I knew he wasn't the one. She knew that before I did.


When we were "little" my sister, brother and I would go to Gramma's to spend time. We probably went for a weekend at a time, I don't remember, but I remember sleeping over. She would take us to "The Red Apple" grocery store where we would all get one scoop of candy from the bulk section. Charity got gum drops, Joel got gummie bears and I got lemon drops... every time. It was a fun little tradition. - Several years after that I went to visit her and sitting on the table was a bag of lemon drops... probably from The Red Apple... just for me.


There were a lot of little things that Gramma did for us and with us that have shaped who we are... all of us. My mom and her siblings, their spouses, children and grandchildren have all been shaped by the woman that my Gramma was. Her fingerprints are on all of us whether she taught us manners, how to craft, how to cook or how to sing. She taught us by example and she showed us who Jesus is in all of it. Any time you visited her and Grandpa you were fed, advised and sent off with a kiss and a wave. Whether you were a wrestler, a roper, a singer, a farm hand, a truck driver, a mom, a welder, a mechanic, a business person or a student, she was your biggest fan. And you knew it.


My aunt Janie said that when she went to visit Gramma in the nursing home and asked if she knew who she was, Gramma simply replied, "Mine." She knew she had family around her. She knew who she belonged to. She lived her life in love with God and dedicated to her family and it showed.

I'd like to imagine that when she met Jesus face to face and asked if He knew who she was, He replied, "Mine."

I would like to read all of this at her memorial on Saturday - but I don't think I could get through it. I can hardly see the screen as it is right now. I don't cry for her. She is with Jesus. No diabetes, no confusion, no pain, no tears. I suppose I cry for Kevin and Nolan who will not know her as I did... for Grandpa who sleeps alone... for my mom who feels so blue. I cry for what she means to me that I can't express in words. 


Ike Graul said...

That is beautiful, Leah. She sounds like an amazing woman.

Ellie said...

Beautiful is the right word. What an amazing life she must have lived.
I love you.

kristi w said...

Sweet, sweet tribute to a lovely woman. I know you are thrilled for her victory, but will miss her for good reason, it appears.