Apr 18, 2012
She grew up on a farm. She was 1 of 12 kids. She told stories of milking cows and getting up early to do chores. There was a sad bully-type story of being kicked so hard in the shin by her elementary school peers this one time, that she still had a scar. There's pictures of her hair done up in a bandana - big curls, big smile. She went to college and worked this one time in Minnesota and sent home the money to buy her parents a car while supporting herself on basically nothing. She talked about bread and milk sometimes and how it tasted good.
I remember lots of plastic toys at their house, and baseball always on TV. I think it was she who liked baseball. I remember going there sundays at least twice a month. It was always filled with smells of egg, onion or grease. Big fluffy yummy scones covered in honey and powdered sugar, greasy oh so good potatoes or the smell of carmelized onions. Pink puffy divinity (that batch that didn't turn out right she said, but tasted so good), perfect fudge, lots of cookies. Quilts. Not the fancy kind you see these days. The quick patchwork kind, sewed of mismatched patches of fabric, sewn up with the remainder of time she had to do it. These were always given away to someone who needed them. There was always someone who needed them.
She had 9 kids. Lots of stories. Long beautiful life. She took a large responsibility of putting bread on the table and making sure they didn't go without. "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." A life overflowing with service and love, heaping amounts of self-sacrifice, and a strong but quiet religious devotion. Millions of tales of advice and encouragement. Then came secrets about all her jobs, all the things she did that you'd never expect because of the way things turned out. Things like loving chemistry. Things like marrying later in life. Things that were still very much consistent with who I imagined her to be, but things you don't hear about when you are little. Things that I learned about and then became so much more grateful for my grandma, and so much more respectful. My love and pride increased and I felt blessed that I had been lucky enough to call her my grandma.
Leora. However it may have looked to anyone who saw it, she had an extremely successful life in terms of what she was given and what she did with it. And, in the end, that is all that truly matters.
written by my sweet sister Kara.