Monday, March 19, 2012

My Grandma Aggie

God definitely has a plan when things happen. As we were home for Spring Break this week my 105 year old Grandma went to be with the Lord. I was able to be home with my Mom as it happened and she went so peacefully. It wasn't quite how we had planned our spring break to go, but I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else. She was an amazing woman who was so spunky. She lived in her own house by herself until she was 101!!! I am so blessed that my children all got to meet her too. I was very blessed that I was asked to give her eulogy on Saturday at the funeral. I had originally volunteered for a reading but ended up doing her eulogy, go figure. For a woman with 105 years of memories it was not hard to write the speech. I had enough material to talk for hours.... luckily for the people sitting in church I didn't stand up there and ramble too long.
{my aunt carol, my mom, Grandma Aggie, and my uncle Kenny}
{my grandmothers one room schoolhouse at Frogtown, this place no longer exists}
Here is my eulogy to my grandma...

What a beautiful day we have to celebrate you, grandma, as you make the entrance into Heaven! I'm sure each and every one of you here today has something to share on how my grandmother touched your life. She lived through many years of great memories, 105 to be exact. Some memories were extra special especially those shared with me, her favorite grandchild. If I know grandma she would be sitting here talking about the absurdly warm weather, praying for the farmers and already worrying about the spring planting ahead. She was forever faithful to the farmers, especially her son Kenny, sending up prayers for them every moment of the day. In fact that's where she spent most of her life is on the farm.
She was born before there were such things as televisions, microwave ovens or indoor toilets. She was born in 1907 in Glandorf and attended Frogtown School, a one room school house that no longer exists. She talked about her school years often, how they spoke in German, how the first one to school in the morning would have to get the fire started at school, and how she walked to school uphill both ways. Back then only 8% of homes even owned a telephone there was definitely NO texting in school during class. Although grandma Aggie never worked at a paying job, my grandmother was one of the hardest working women I have ever known. She became a farmer's wife when she met my Grandpa Alfred and married him at 30 years old. Grandma and grandpa enjoyed square dancing and an occasional vacation away. But they would find time to be together at home. They would even go out and milk the cows together, probley not because it was a lot of fun but because it was their livelihood. As a wife and mother she worked hard at the home place keeping everything in shape. She did the canning, the cooking, and she did a lot of washing in the basement of the homeplace winding grandpa's work shirts through the old style wringer washing machine by hand. She was definitely an excellent cook. It wasn't gourmet, but it was good country cooking. We all remember grandma's Fried Chicken with cherry jelly on bread after church on Sundays, or chicken wings with apricot jelly, or the flape' old fashioned German dessert she used to make, or her Legendary butterscotch Cookies. We can't utter her name without bringing up those Butterscotch Cookies. They are not to be duplicated, trust me I've tried. Even with her handwritten recipe which has all the details from which brand of flour to use to exactly how to place the cookies on the cookie sheet I still get it wrong.
The best days for us grandkids and great grandkids were when we got to spend the night over at Grandma Aggie's. There would be matchbox car races, dress-up time in her dresses and grandma's old ponytail, many games of Rummy and lots of good food. To put it in Adams words "we felt like Kings and Queens". Grandma was a card player through and through. Whether it was with her regular card playing ladies on Monday mornings or a heated game of Euchre at an Unverferth get together she was a card shark.
Even when my grandma was hard at work cleaning out the downspouts, raking leaves or in the field shucking corn she looked good. She always had her hair done and her clothes nicely pressed. Those crease lines in the front of her pants were crisp. At 95, she had a hard time enjoying a leisurely boat ride because she was worried about her hair. She was pretty cute. She was devoted to prayer. She prayed during thunderstorms, she prayed on the boat, she prayed in airplanes, Cars, and Rvs… it didn't matter you could count on the fact that she was praying for you. Her bible was well worn from her faithfulness to open it up and read scripture. She even prayed in German. Her love of the Lord was apparent inside and out.
A memory that I hold dear to my heart is a shopping trip to Columbus many years ago with my mom Judy, Carol, Grandma, Grandma's sister mart and my sister Beth. We traveled to the mall to get the ladies some clothes. My sister and I ran through the mall to get 2 wheelchairs for Aunt Mart and grandma Aggie so they could get around a little better and last a little longer during this shopping spree. My 93 year old grandma balked at riding in the wheelchair but as soon as we had those two ladies settled they were laughing and ready to spend some money. (all to be returned later) those were some good times. Grandma and her sister Mart had a special bond; they were the best of friends. To see sisters love each other so much and after each visit not wait to see each other was a treasure. Having sisters myself, I know that feeling of having a best friend that experiences all of life with you by your side.
Today, we're all feeling the loss of of our mother, our sister, our friend, or our "Grandma Aggie" and it's painful; but I know she's in a better place without pain. We may no longer see her but we'll always have these special moments we shared with her. Heaven is a brighter place with her in residence. Our loss is truly Heaven's gain and my comfort is in knowing that someday we'll all be together with Grandma again in the presence of our Lord.
Thank you everyone for being here, and remembering my Grandma today. She is a uniquely special person who was, and is very much loved. Auf Wiedersehn Oma! Memory -- on this day we got my mom to try on her wedding dress. It still fit! She even had her bouquet still wrapped in a plastic bag. We were having so much fun playing dress up that all of us girls joined in. My Grandma and I have on my Sister Kathy's Prom Dresses and Beth and Kathy are wearing some of her bridemaids dresses. I don't think we ever laughed sooo hard! {grandma and grandpa}
{Grandma and 9 out of 10 of us grandkids.... I am the little baby}
Even my kids will miss Grandma Aggie. Gigi only met her twice but she must have made an impact that she was a fun person because this winter one day when we were sitting here coloring Gigi asked me a question.
Gigi: "Can Grandma Aggie come over to play today?"
Me: "Well, she lives in Ohio and that is a long way for Grandma to travel all the way here to Iowa. Do you remember the long car rides?"
Gigi: "Can she come tommorrow?"
Me: "Oh Gigi, she lives in a Nursing Home remember when we visited her. There are nurses and ladies to help her get around."
Gigi: "Then, can you call the nursing home then to ask THEM if she can come over and play?"
Oh my sweet girl. She just wanted me to call her grandma and play. I love it. Nate and I are always concerned how the children will take a death situation. They have had so much tragedy in their lives that funerals and losing someone is not easy to them. The kids handled it all so well. I am always ready for the worst and my kids are the most amazing kids in the world. When I told Gigi and Bubba that Grandma Aggie had passed away they only concern was for me and if I was going to cry. I reassured them that grandma was in a better place and that I was okay. They both told me that they would be extra good. AND they were. :-) She will be missed but I know she is in a better place. Grandma, I Love You!!!


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your grandma's passing Lynn! Your words were so sweet -- she was lucky to have you as her FAVORITE grandchild!!!

  2. So sorry to hear about your grandma Lynn. What a beautiful eulogy you gave. I'm sure your family was proud. I have a very special bond with my grandma as well so I can understand the connections.