Making Your Legacy

Irma and Gerhard Aho

My sweet grandmother passed away this week. She had been on hospice care, was 87 years old, and slipped out of this life peacefully while she slept. She was classy, enchanting, and so devilishly mischievous. She will be missed, but sooooo many memories of her live on through her 6 children, their spouses, and her 20-something grandchildren. 

As my mother and I both agreed, as Christians, death is not really all that sad. There is so much hope and comfort in knowing that your loved one was a child of God and always witnessed their faith like it was second nature. Even only a few years ago, before her health had degraded so much, she used to tell my mom "If I pass tonight, don't be sad for me, children, don't be sad." She knew that WE knew she would be going home to her Savior.

My grandmother was always dressed so beautifully, not a piece of jewelry out of place or a tiny high-heeled shoe off her foot. She had a grace and poise like no other woman I've known. Always very calm....unless you played Scrabble with her and tried to make up a word. 

She was the only grandparent I ever really knew. My other grandmother passed away when I was about 5, and both of my grandfathers were gone before I was even born. She was my example of aging gracefully, and she left me with such a wonderful example at that. Physically, there was hardly a wrinkle on the soft skin of her face. I don't think I heard her raise her voice ONCE. Not even when she scolded us grandchildren for not obeying our parents or for not mixing our food (okay Grandma, you were right...mixing your food DOES taste better). Her quiet firm tone was always enough to put us in our place. I don't know, maybe my other naughtier siblings had more wrath than me..but personally I was never yelled at. But I didn't poop my pants and then hide behind a tree like my brother. I hope she yelled at him for that..haha!

She was the essence of a lady. HOWEVER, she knew how to play a good prank. Her children can recall these stories for you. Like turning all the clocks back in the house to make her children think they were ALL late for school. She watched them all flying in and out of the bathroom and try to get their breakfast and wash their faces...annnnd then quietly sat back and said "April all have an hour." I'm quite sure her quiet sassyness made its way through the gene pool, ask my husband. 

Today, I feel so honored to have known such a lady. Though I didn't have the time with her I wish I'd had, I have so many little things to take away from the legacy she left:

  • To love my Savior as she did, putting all my trust in Him. 
  • To greet people in the morning with made-up songs about how happy you are to see them. 
  • To give big hugs that also included a "love slap."
  • To keep your voice and demeanor pleasant.
  • To remember my beautiful Finnish roots.
  • To make recipes she made as a wife and mother. 
  • To eat slowly and enjoy my food (I can't guarantee this one)
  • To love my children deeply.
  • To serve my husband diligently.
  • To tease.
  • To sit up straight.
  • To mix my food and love Hagen Daz.
  • To sing about everything: Cooking, children, bed time, etc..
  • To keep my hair out of my eyes and also not to rub my eyes.
  • To be kind to others.
  • To love and respect my parents.
  • And to never, ever lose faith in the Lord. He is what we should always cling to.