We buried our sweet Grandmother Boyd yesterday. She lived to be 92 years old. After being coached to speak of death in literal terms to the kids for their understanding, I typically steer clear of figurative language, but after spending a short 36 hours in Mississippi--where open caskets are still a thing, where, out of respect, people still pull over on the side of the road for funeral processions, and where the little, old ladies of the church fed us a meal of spiral sliced ham, pimento cheese sandwiches, crushed pineapple and mayonnaise sandwiches(!) and fresh, sliced tomatoes, cantaloupe and watermelon in the fellowship hall following the burial--it seems only fitting to say that "the Lord called her home."
Melissa Boyd Warren, Angela Whaley and I reconnected with our cousins and reminisced about the one week out of every summer we would all spend with Grandmother and Grandaddy Boyd on their farm complete with a teeth-brushing chart on the refrigerator door, piano recitals in the living room, home cooked meals with fresh vegetables straight from their garden, gathering eggs from the chicken coop, playing dress up, games on the front porch and family history lessons. I guess she knew we weren't paying close attention, because she left a handwritten letter "to be read upon her death" including the story of how she met and married Grandaddy at the age of 17.
In so many ways, Grandmother Boyd was ahead of her time, or maybe, we as a society, are just trying to return to a lifestyle largely forgotten. She was an organic gardener, a lover of the earth able to identify all of the birds, trees, flowers and wild plants, an artist who used her hands to make quilts, to crochet afghans and doilies, to pick a guitar and to pickle and can and make jellies and jams. She was an avid storyteller and a strict grammarian. She recycled and repurposed because she couldn't stand the thought of anything going to waste.
Most importantly, we reveled in the many lessons Grandmother Boyd taught us. She taught us you can't love things, you love people. She taught us we might not have much, but there are always people who have far less than us, and it's our responsibility to help provide and care for them. She taught us the importance of family and encouraged us to always love, respect and be kind to one another.
My very favorite thing Grandmother Boyd taught us was you should never sleep in panties because you need to let it "air out down there." Ha! I think she was right. A little fresh air never hurt a thing.
As my Daddy said yesterday in his eulogy, I do not have a sad heart for I know she is in a better place.
"When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, 'It is well, it is well with my soul'."
In life’s most joyful moments and in the darkest of hours and seemingly impossible circumstances, there is grace. Abundant grace always abounds if you allow yourself to see it. This I know, and these are my lessons in grace.
Read about what came before Sweetness Follows at TeamKennett.com.