Sunday, February 17, 2008

Winter Of her Life

My Rose from Grandmas Coffin

I don't know if you all saw the plaque I put on Grandmas Coffin but I will describe it for you. I have heard since that people have wondered what my meaning was behind it.
It was a photo that I took awhile back on the farm. It is of a snow drift. Under the photo I wrote a note to Grandma. The drift had two meanings for me.

First: It signified this very winter. She missed it (I am sure to her own joy). Grandma died on the 20th. When the first day of winter this past year started on the 22nd. She didn't even start it.

Second: She died in the winter of her life. She made it to 94 years old. That is a good length of time in this day and age.

I am writting today cause I miss Grandma. And maybe this is selfish but I miss knowing that there is a prayer going up for me every day. But there is something else I miss. And that is knowing that such a wonderfully gracious woman is out there. As I sat in the memorial service I became awed by her great love for each person she met. It was a humbling thought for me. And it proved consistant, for each story told was of the same strain, she was loving, gracious, and merciful.
I was sorry that she never go to meet my husband, yet I know she was happy for me and that means alot. I am thankful for the times I did get to spend with Grandma and I look forward to seeing her again when this life is over. She was a wonderful lady.

I also want to thank you all for being my loving Thiessen family. Each and every one of you means sooo much to me. Thank you for carying on with Grandmas love and grace. You are all wonderful roll modles for me. I Thank God for putting me in this family at birth.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Grandchildren's plaques

Arnie's family ^

Ernie's family

Elmer's family

Williard and Elmer's family

Dave's family

More of dave's family

Dolores' family

Friday, February 8, 2008

I'll fly away


This was a picture at the cemetary after the dust had settled and the casket was nicely tucked away.

Closure (4 grave diggers and a grandchild)

Generally I do not like the term "closure". I think too often it forces people to stop processing the loss of someone significant. I think from a psychosocial perspective it is more like continuation or struggling or on the road, join the journey. However in the context of putting grandma's body to rest this is fitting. We had to make a few "modifications" to make the box fit into the cement vault. I met 4 of the grave diggers and exchanged names and advice. Trevor felt sorry for me and lent me his gloves. He later brought me a pair to use. Here are a few pictures of the closure process.

Follow in my footsteps

Our family plaque as many know had a family picture. In reality the only thing showing was our feet. At the gravesite I asked my two boys if they wanted to take off their boots and socks. They were hesitant given the weather but with some convincing they agreed.

A good day to be planted

The weather was -21 with a harsh wind. We all gathered at the gravesite to say our final goodbyes. It was incredible to see the grandchildren carrying grandma to the grave. Lois and Karen were at the head which I thought was very fitting as Karen has always described grandma as her best friend.

Garage Grieving

Road trip with grandma

Monday, January 28, 2008

Let the little children come unto me

My first thought is the younger great grandchildren (and those yet to be born will not have as full a memory of grandma. Then I remember my recollections of grandpa thiessen. I was only 7 when he died and yet I still have my memories along with the narrative memories of the older generation that have been integrated into my picture of grandpa.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mine Grandma By Heidi Abbott

I've been thinking a lot about Grandma lately. It seems so weird that she is now in Heaven and I won't be able to visit her down here again! She was such an amazing of those people that you look up to and rank at the top of the list of "Godly, noble, wonderful, lovable people" Billy Graham, Oswald Chambers, etc. She was an inspiration to so many, and I know that she influenced even more people than she could ever have realized. I am blessed to have so many dear and wonderful memories of her. 
Times when I was little and would visit her in Morden, MB. The minute you walked into the house you would be hugged sooo hard that the breath was squished right out of you and her hearing aid would make the most crazy squealing sounds!! And of course her glasses would bang against your face and you would feel more LOVED and special than anyone else in the world as she said "Mine Heidi Mine Heidi - how I've missed you!" My siblings, cousins and I would head downstairs and would play hide-and-seek for hours. Our favorite spot to hide would be behind the big sectional couch. Ah, how I loved that couch. And later we would eat an amazing meal with a side of her yummy, fluffy buns, extra sticky-sweet orange tang and to finish off an apple bun or two. As we left later we would get to pick some peppermints out of her pretty blue candy dish (I personally liked the pink ones best!) and with my hand clutching my five sweaty peppermints I would get another gigantic rib breaking, ear piercing, heart warming hug!!!! What is a Grandma Thiessen hug going to be like in Heaven? I can't imagine it being quite the same because she won't have her hearing aid anymore and she won't need her glasses. Ah, but it will still be filled with more love than a person can even describe. 
Once Grandma moved to BC we didn't get to see her quite as often. But when we did see her it was for longer periods of time. I loved it when she would come to the farm for a week or two and we would get to spend every day with her. We played Skip-Bo, Uno and she would always manage to cheat a little. Although I don't think it was really cheating for her because she thought it was okay - thanks to the times she played the game called "cheat"!!! =) We loved going for walks to the garden to sample the fresh peas and beans. She always loved looking at Dad's grain fields and would pray out loud that God would bless Dad with a bumper crop! We would walk down the lane with our dog "Teddy Bear" leading the way. One time she was watching Teddy Bear and she got a goofy look on her face and started singing "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear touch the ground, Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear turn around, Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear lay a poo, Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear Shame on YOU!". Bonnie and I were shocked that she would say such a thing, but we sure thought it was funny! 
While Grandma was visiting she would make buns and Verenicki, and I always loved to help her. I remember when I was around 8 years old she finally let  me punch the bun dough myself. And I think I was 10 when she directed me in what to do and I made the dough start to finish by myself! I wrote down each step as we went so that I could do it later by myself. It was kinda tricky though cuz she didn't  have a real was always a little of this and a pinch of that. I think that's why it always turned out so well. The important thing was to give all the glory to Jesus! And of course when you didn't have things like "Goose Fat" you had to learn to improvise! In my family our tradition is to make Verenicki for Christmas Eve dinner with the family. This year I made them with Bonnie, Monique, Heidi Szakacs, and Meka. It was probably the saddest, happiest and most memorable time baking ever! When Bonnie and I were boiling them just before supper she said "Hey, lets try some to make sure they're edible!" (which of course we always know they will be but we can't wait to taste them!) So she put two on a plate and ladled on some browned butter and cream gravy and we each took a bite - and immediately both started bawling! How can you eat perogies and not think of Grandma?!!!! 
We also had fun with Grandma at her place in BC. She loved to take the grandchildren miniature golfing at Wonderland. She looked so cute with her white curly hair covered by a massive floppy hat and she was just as short as little Jody who was probably 8 at the time! She would wack the ball hard and would yell "four". The whole world would have to watch out when Grandma was driving! 
When Blake and I first started dating I went out to Abbotsford and visited Grandma. Blake came by bus from Vancouver and we spent the day together. Of course we visited with Grandma at her apartment. Later that day she suggested that we all go to the Mandarin garden for some chinese food. We picked up Andrea who was a student in the city at the time,  and the four of us had a great date!!! =) Blake was quite the gentleman and took his duties of taking care of 3 girls very seriously. He drove Grandma's car - she sat in the front beside him. And he came around and helped her out of the car and then opened doors for all of us. The supper was a buffet, so he held Grandma's plate and escorted her through the buffet and back to her place at the table before getting his own food. It was a fun meal and I was nervous but probably not as nervous as Blake! By the end of the evening of our very first date, Grandma was quite convinced that Blake and I would be getting married someday!!! And she was right! I'm so glad she approved! 
When I stayed with Grandma I loved it when I would get to spend the early mornings with her. She would have her cup of cafflib and would thank God for her vitamins and food and then would pray the dearest, most sincere prayer. Then she would take her Daily bread devotional and would read it aloud and smile at the cute poem at the end and then would open her - oh so worn out Bible, and would read the Bible passages. Every day she would do this and every day she would pray for every single member of her family. From her children to her grandchildren and right down to the great-grandchildren! How precious to know that every day of my life I was prayed for by her.
Grandma's greatest joy in life was knowing Jesus and seeing her loved ones come to Him. She used to say that she could hardly wait until we were all in Heaven and we would all sit down at the HUGE table were we would have a big feast together with Jesus. That is going to be one special day! And of course she would mention that there wasn't going to be such a thing as calories in Heaven so we could have lots of butter on everything!  
The other day when I was crying because I missed Grandma, Blake smiled at me and said "Just think, she's probably playing mexican train (dominos) with Moses right now!" 
Grandma left a beautiful legacy behind. She will be missed and loved daily. But someday - soon - we shall all get to be with her in Heaven and we will spend eternity together with her, Grandpa and best of all Jesus! 

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Grandchildren's decorated plaques

As many of you have heard the plan for the box is to have each grandchildren's family decorate a 4x6 inch oak plaque that will be mounted on the side of the box prior to the grave side service. As you can see by the picture the orientation of the plaques are 4" wide and 6" long. This size was chosen just in case a person wanted to use a photograph to put on their plaque. I have distributed most of the pieces of oak however if you have not received information about your wood please contact me at