Monday, April 19, 2010

Peggy Lee Wise Tilton

Grandma and Dad

Tiffany (my cousin), me, Ash, and Grandma)

My Grandma passed away this afternoon. I am still very numb about it. I’ve actually hardly cried since I heard. I don’t really know what that means. My mom keeps reminding me that grief is different for everyone and I am trying to remember that during this difficult time.
So, in an effort to process, let me tell you about my Grandma…
Peggy Lee Wise was born on July 4th, 1930. She married Russ Tilton and they had three kids: Dan, Dianna, and Connie. My Dad is Dan. Russ Tilton passed away from cancer nearly 25 years ago when my parents were pregnant with me. Grandpa and Grandma raised their children in a Christian home. My Grandma taught Sunday school and attended adult Sunday school until she lost her ability to drive, and even then she went as often as could. She lived in the same house for over 50 years in Norwalk, CA. My Dad was one when they moved in and we sold the house earlier this year. She and her neighbor (a childhood family friend of my Dad’s) lived side by side for over 50 years.
My Grandma was born to be a Grandma. She admits she wasn’t the most maternal person, but I truly believe she did the best she could (as I believe all parents do in their own way), but as a Grandma, she nailed it. About a year ago, I discovered that my Grandma kept a file for each one of her grandchildren (me, my sister, and my cousin) and in it she kept every note, thank you card, and drawing we ever gave her or created at her house. I cried when she gave it to me and I flipped through it. That is love. I watched an old home video the other day and in it Grandma is the one helping my sister open her presents at her birthday party. She always brought the other sister a present when it wasn’t our actual birthday. I used to love spending time at my Grandma’s. Growing up, I spent many nights over at her house. I remember our bedtime rituals, and watching soap operas and Unsolved Mysteries. Eating Honey Bunches of Oats when I woke up and every year she would take my sister and me to buy every school supply we could possibly need or want. Grandma would call us before every church camp trip and first day of school. My mom told me that when I was little she would call my Grandma and tell her what cute things I did that morning. My Grandma loved to hear about our lives. In fact, the second to last time I saw my Grandma, my sister and I went by ourselves and we just talked to her about our weeks and what we were up to: school, work, the weather, whatever. In a moment of more clarity than non-clarity, my Grandma told us that she loves hearing about our lives. That hearing about what we are up to always makes her happy. Her family meant the world to her. Nothing was more important.
Pray for all of us as we deal with this loss of the matriarch of our family. The glue that was our family. The person we all called with good news and the person we most looked forward to seeing at family get togethers. Grandma will be missed and there will always be a hole that can never be filled by our loss. We are blessed to have had her in our lives, and I am especially blessed to have had such a loving, selfless Grandma. I really feel such peace and comfort knowing that she is in Heaven. That she is now walking with Jesus. That God himself welcomed her into Heaven and that my Grandpa was right behind Him to welcome her Home. Amen.


SIdney said...

She will definitely be missed. I remember seeing her a few times, but mainly the time she took us out for KFC and the good time we had. Just remember the good times, and you won't ever stop thinking about her... I think about my grandma almost daily, and she's been gone 11 years (wow weird to think that). I'm here if you ever need to talk. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Jan said...

What a great blog about your Grandma; she really would have liked it! It's probably playing on the big screen in heaven right now and she is bragging that her granddaughter wrote it! Love you lots, Mom

Amy Fields said...

I remember her at all those birthday parties through the years! She was a wonderful Grandma. Wish I could be with you and your family to give you a big hug!

Josh, Chrissie & Matthew said...

You're all in our prayers, Carrie - what a great blog!

Sue Hauptmann said...

What a great tribute to your Grandma. I read it and am happy you remeber so much thru the years that your Grandma did, I am taking Grandma notes, you're right, she nailed it!