We spent the last couple of days celebrating my Grandma Beeson’s life. She was an amazing woman and her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are proof of her faithfulness to God and family throughout her life. I’ve always been thankful for my family, but the older I get the more I realize the treasure that God intended family relationships to be.
I had the privilege of saying a few words at my Grandma’s funeral yesterday. My friends have heard me tell many tales of Grandma Beeson and how hilarious she was. She had more personality in her little finger than most of us can shake a stick at.
Here are a few memories I mentioned to her friends and family who gathered with us yesterday.
- Sweatshirt Dresses, her favorite attire. She had a friend who would take an ordinary ol’ sweatshirt and sew a nice skirt on the waist of it. Grandma was all about comfort.
- Milk, and my need to drink it. She would tell gruesome tales of hunchbacks and how the only reason they were that way was because they didn’t drink their milk.
- The way her toilet paper roll played the Notre Dame fight song (tinny and out of tune when the batteries were running low)
- $2 bills. She sent one in birthday cards and would give one to us when she came for a visit. In elementary school I remember sitting on my bed with $26 in $2 bills and thinking about how rich I was.
- Grandma always wrapped presents in the comics section of the newspaper
- Her purse was a treasure trove of lemon drops, cinnamon disks and peppermints.
- She could flutter her eyelashes, wiggle her ears, and had the astounding ability to wiggle just the end of her nose, just like a rabbit. I have no idea how she did that… but she did.
- She punished the furniture that hurt us. If we bumped into a table, that table got a good spanking. If we fell off the slide at the playground, that slide was in big trouble.
- The real star-fish she used as a tree-topper at Christmas
- Her watch was a ring on her index finger
- She made gingerbread cookies shaped like feet and painted the toe-nails with icing
- As a 4th grade science teacher she would bring the best experiments home over break for her grandchildren to do. I remember dissecting a cow eye at her kitchen table and caring for white rats… feeding one pop and candy and the other veggies and fruits. The pop and candy ones tail was turning black.
- She said hilarious things and made a lot of hilarious sound-effects:
- “ho-hum, hum-ho” and “ah-so, ah-so” made sense in most conversational situations
- she called everyone either “Agnes” or “Rosemary” (which is how I came up with the characters my friend Holly and I played for the Women’s Retreat at Hope College)
- “Ker-Plunk” on her way down the stairs. She would say “Ker” as her foot hung over the step and “plunk” as it made contact.
- “Ch-chika, ch-chicka, ch-chicka” was the sound she would make whenever she was walking or moving in a forward motion.
- Singing (a soprano with lots of vibrato) the hymnal-style “a-ah-ah-men” at the end of everything, including the “Happy Birthday” song and prayers before lunch and dinner.
- She often said, “See you in the funny papers” instead of “goodbye”.
- Grandma always had a joke to tell. One I remember well was,”Why did the elephant paint her toenails red? ANSWER: “So she could hide in the apple tree of course!”
- She had white hair long before she was “old” so she could get away with asking for the senior citizen discount everywhere we went.
|Agnes and Rosemary|
My memories of Grandma Beeson are sweet and make me smile and laugh every time I think of her. She was lovely and funny and tough and thoughtful and smart, but mostly I will remember that she was a character. I loved her and I am so thankful to have been her granddaughter. She is totally in Heaven right now cracking everyone up with her silliness. I can’t wait to see her there someday.
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