Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Tribute to Grandma Fry

Tribute to Grandma Fry

When I think of grandma Fry and the 44 years of my life that I knew her, several mental images come to mind. The most poignant of them is the sounds and smells of her house, filling up with her boys, daughter-in-laws and grandkids every Christmas and Easter, and the familiar chimes of one of many antique clocks, marking every hour and half-hour. Dong, dong, dong dong….dong, dong, dong , dong. I can hear those chimes in my head today as if I were still 14. That chime brings back a host of other memories…pig stomach, homemade noodles with brown butter, four or five desserts. Then, after eating a huge dinner, we would snack on crackers and Muenster cheese, ham sandwiches, and raspberry ice cream.

Christmas gift times were extreme. They almost always involved some sort of fun dynamic, and always involved receiving an insane amount of gifts. Generosity was present. Even in the latter years of her life, generosity characterized her life, something that her grandkids have really appreciated!

Whenever any of us would walk into the room, grandma would say, “Come here” and you could always count on getting your cheeks smacked, which was grandma’s idea of an affectionate greeting. She was always amazingly up-to-date, very much aware of life, and the lives of all her family, spread over several states and several countries.

Something that I had perhaps sensed before, but became aware of more keenly later in her life, is how submissive she was to grandpa, how much she genuinely respected his decisions, and sought to support them. Although grandma was very much her own person, she nevertheless greatly respected and supported the leadership of her husband.

I remember my father, poised on the edge of the cabin porch, throwing a chicken bone at a black bear. Grandma wasn’t sure that was such a good idea! The hummingbird feeders that she hung on each corner of the cabin remind us of her love for that place, and the wonderful gift that she and grandpa have left for the rest of the family.

She has left us all with a legacy of a woman who feared the Lord and loved her husband and her family. She will be missed! But even as she desired to see her beloved Mahlon again, we will also, one day, see her again, and be united with her in a family reunion, gathered around a very big table, and maybe, just maybe, uncle Jim will try to do the tablecloth trick up there, and grandmother Catharine will scold him!

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