June 19, 2012

In Memory of Grammie Cool

 My beautiful mom, Lincoln's Grammie Cool, died two weeks ago.  This explains my long absence from the blog--she loved reading Cutie Pie Thursday, and without her to read it, I've had a tough time continuing.  But I am trying to remember that she understood that this was my scrapbook, my way of recording memories, so I'm taking to the blog to remember her, and to begin to chronicle life.  I took the top picture of mom just a month or so ago--mid-April--as I was playing with instagram while she was having chemo for her recurrent ovarian cancer.  When we started all the memorial stuff, everyone wanted to use it, so my dream of photography has found some fame in chronicling her beauty and grace--and Joy.
 I've been going through all my pictures of mom that I have on my computer, and the earliest ones are from my sister's wedding.  We were grateful that she was there--she was first diagnosed seven years ago--but she was making it beautiful and fantastic, and sewing four more bridesmaids dresses.  Her life total for bridal gowns/bridesmaids dresses was nearly 30.  Here she is with a friend of my sister, who memorialized her well.  She always had time for our friends, and welcomed them with love and prayers.
 Here she is with dad after the wedding.  Her memorial service ended up being on what would have been their 38th anniversary.  They were a wonderful team--opposites with shared values who worked well together.  They lived out every aspect of their vows.
 One thing mom was able to do with her extra years (after her first diagnosis/surgery/chemo) was welcome her grandchildren.  Mr. Cool and I would NEVER have survived those first months with Lincoln without her.  She was our rock and support.  A note about her outfit in the above picture--she wore that same outfit for five days in a row after Mr. Cool's accident while she stayed with Lincoln and I to help us through the hospitalization.  I always loved seeing her in that outfit.  That picture, though, was taken after her second surgery/recurrance while we were in AZ.
 She was also able to be around for my discovery of knitting--a craft that is definitely getting me through this whole experience.  This is the first hat I knit her, and she loved it.  She was wearing it right up to the end.  The pattern is Meret, by Wooly Wormhead, and I knit it in Cotton-Ease, colorway Terra Cotta.  I plan to donate a bunch--and if you knit, I would love it if you did too.
 Mom was an artist--a true, talented individual.  She made banners for Sista Cool and I every year for our birthdays, and Lincoln was lucky enough to get two himself.  Here they are with his first one--at Lincoln's annual birthday blow-out--another tradition mom taught us.
 We loved visiting the ranch, and I loved sharing mom with Lincoln.  This has been difficult to explain to him, but he seems to be grasping it.
 Here is there first picture together--she was so excited/helpful/encouraging.
 Lincoln's 2nd birthday--dad loved to get pictures of everyone--of him, and mom, and Lincoln.  I am very grateful for that.
 I made this shawl for mom this year--she wasn't quite sure how to model, but she was beautiful.  This is also a rare picture of mom in jeans.  She was always classy.
 This picture is from this spring--we were able to stay with mom, and see her off to her classroom early in the day.  Lincoln loved visiting Grammie Joy's magnificent classroom--a true learning wonderland, as another friend remembered.
 Mom taught kindergarten--she even taught me--and she knew how to play to her audience.  She dressed up for Halloween every year--for a while she was even Minnie Mouse.  Recently, she worked a Mother Goose costume every year.
 She was also able to welcome Cousin Cool, and introduce him to the wonderful world of books.  Mom loved children's books, and I've moved about five boxes of books she purchased for her classroom, and they are all wonderful.  We will be sharing them around for years.
Just this spring we were able to make one last trip to Arizona.  She sang with Lincoln on the drive down--even doing actions of the various songs!  She admitted to me that one of the toughest parts of teaching this last year was brain gym--moving with the kids--but she remained vibrant with her students.
 She and Grandad Cool took us and Lincoln to the zoo for the first time, even though she was exhausted.
Our last photo, in front of the olive tree in AZ.  She and dad first came here when she was pregnant with me, and we've been back many times.  I was blessed beyond belief with my mom--she loved me SO much--she loved being a mom--she loved hearing Lincoln stories--she loved shopping for yarn with me--she loved reading magazines and watching House Hunters and baking--and I will keep that legacy alive.

I love you, mom.  Thank you for loving me.

1 comment:

Stephanie Cool said...

Beautiful, Amanda. Glad to see you back at the blog.