mothers day

Friday, April 15, 2011

Goodbye Grandma Bea


My byline for sometime has been, Remember the dash. Beatrice Lowe Willden, 1924-2011...the dash representing the years lived.


Grandma Bea filled her life with fun and love and laughter. Even better, she shared that fun and love and laughter with everyone she met.


I met my future mother-in-law one cold February morning in 1967 - about 7:30 in the morning. Ed brought me in the house and said "Mom, this is Susan...Susan this is my mom - I will see you this afternoon when I get done with Guard". ...and he left!! I was petrified...but within two or three minutes I realized there was nothing to fear.


His mother was so full of life and so full of fun - we had a grand day. His sister Colleen showed up with her baby Gina, and the three of us laughed and talked and had a ball. They talked me into wearing Colleen's prom dress for the National Guard Ball that evening instead of the formal that I had brought with me. I always said that I fell in love with his mother and married Ed.


Watch out Heaven....grandma Bea has arrived! Never, not once did I not feel welcome when we went to Beaver. Always she folded us under her wing and made us feel loved and appreciated. My kids LOVED to go to grandma Bea's because of the love and joy she shared with everyone. My kids had a one grandma they were scared of, especially when they were little - and then they had Grandma Bea with her teasing and loving way.


I don't remember Bea ever really losing her temper - even when she had all six of her kids and all their spouses and all their kids running around in her little house. Imagine, if you will: Her sons (by now, all grown men) wrestling on the living room floor, with Colleen and all of her daughter in laws with a baby in arms sitting around the living room, and all the grandkids running in circles literally - from the kitchen thru the bathroom, the bedroom, the livingroom and back into the kitchen chasing each other and yelling and teasing each other again and again and again. The noise level was off the charts and we would all visit and laugh and talk over and above it all! That little house just rocked. Bea was Aunt Bea to most of the kids in Beaver ...that turned to Grandma Bea as those kids grew up and had kids - she loved everyone. You never went anywhere in a hurry with Bea, because everyone had to stop and talk to her and get teased about their latest escapade.


I loved Grandma Bea like a second mother - she was the best mother in law anyone could ever ask for. She treated us as adults, gave advice ONLY when we asked for it, and loved all of her 'kids in law" as if they were her own.


The world is a little grayer now that Grandma Bea has gone. She returned to her sweetheart Cecil on what would have been his 90th birthday. I can imagine the reunion on the other side of the veil with Cecil and Colleen and Randy waiting to welcome her. Her parents and siblings that have already passed on. I remember watching her with her brothers and sisters at a funeral back in the 60's. There were a bunch of them and they were lining up for a picture and you would have thought they were all 9 or 10 years old - the teasing, the devil horns, the poking and playing around. I wasn't sure we were going to be able to settle them down long enough to get a picture. So much fun and love and laughter.


I forgot to bring the cord to my computer and so I am sitting in the lobby of the Comfort Inn here in Beaver using their computer and internet to write this so I can make the juice in my computer last until we are ready to go back home. I will have to go through my pictures and find some good ones to add to this blog.


Grandma Bea, Beatrice, Mom - I love you and will miss you - you have been a major influence in my life for a lot of years now-even from a distance. Keep an eye on us all from up above - thank heavens we have you as a mom forever. You taught us all how to live our lives to the fullest and to 'remember the dash'....you filled yours well

5 comments:

Kecia said...

90th birthday! beautiful post mom. The world is a little grayer, but I guess we each have to try a little harder to brighten it. I think if each of us (100 descendants) tried a little harder to brighten the world, we might make up most of grandma's light.

Kristanne said...

She was/is a truly wonderful person. Never really getting to know my grandma, and the memories I have of her aren't real positive, it was such a beautiful surprise that I got 20 years with a woman that taught me all about how grandma's should be. I pray I can be more like her. I will truly miss her.

Susan said...

Lets see - they had six kids

Ed ...5 kids + 15 grandkids
Donald...7 kids + 23 grandkids
Colleen...7 kids + 21 grandkids plus 3 greats
Allen....4 kids + 5 grandkids (plus one on the way
Craig...4 kids + 8 grandkids (plus one on the way
Kevin...4 kids + 7 grandkids

31 children, 71 grandkids (+ 2 coming), + 3 greats...

105 direct descendants...plus spouses!

What a Legacy

Dirk said...

Great Post mom, Kecia beat me to the correction.

I'm sorry Simon didn't let us stay for the funeral, but he was done with the trip and there was no consoling him. Just get him home, and try to drive through my tears.

I'll miss Grandma so very much.

Susan said...

Dirk I felt so bad that you weren't able to stay for grandma's funeral - it was beautiful - so full of fun and laughter, just the way she would want it. At the cemetery after the pall bearers unpinned and placed their boutenaires on the casket then they allowed all the children to take a flower out of the two or three arrangements setting down within their reach and then lay it on the casket. then Aunt Bonnie passed around the straws and everyone blew the cover off of the straw towards grandma's casket. I bet grandma Bea was laughing her head off up there in Heaven!