My Grandmother past away in her sleep early yesterday morning.
Just a short two months ago, she came home from a trip complaining about a stomach ache, but feeling fine otherwise. After some routine checks, they determined she had cancer spreading throughout her body, and was diagnosed as terminal. She was given no more then three months to live. It was a shock to all of us. She handled it with grace as she did with everything in life, and stayed beautiful even until the very end. I was able to visit her twice in these past two months which I will cherish. I will never forget my sweet four year old giving her his last hug good bye on her bed—his great grandmother from whom he inherited his red hair—and then after one last smile, he leaned down to give a delicate kiss on her arm.
Marian Kirkham was the first women I knew in my life to have graduated college. I looked up to her from very early on my life. I spent the first twelve years of my life calling her “Mom” because that’s what my mommy called her. I loved staying in her big house in the Hollywood hills, with its dazzling chandeliers, curved staircase, and huge windows. I helped her water her plants and pick wild berries. She would make me cinnamon toast with dark brown sugar to serve at my play tea parties. She let me touch all her shimmering glass perfume bottles and take baths her giant tub. She never, ever raised her voice at me, and always made me feel like the smartest, most gifted little girl around.
When I grew up and boys replaced dolls, she would talk with me about my latest crush or boyfriend. She was such a romantic. As she cooked in the kitchen, she would listen to all my stories, and laugh at my sense of humor. She had the best laugh, it bubbled out of her :) She praised me for my accomplishments and gave me hope through hard times. I remember one fateful February weekend trip to visit her and Grandpa when I brought a tall, dark haired, blue eyed return missionary that I had just started dating with me. She was instantly charmed by him and told me, encouragingly, that she thought he was so handsome—like an old time movie star. She said I should marry him. Nine months later, I did :)
With the same sweetness, patience, praise, and grace she gave to me, she shared with my sons. She expressed her awe with Colton’s memory and dynamic personality. When others were questioning Rylan’s ability to be focused and behaved, she recognized his special gifts and thought he was exceptional. And, on her last days, she kindly watched and listened to Brayden as he told her the few words and numbers he knew—giving him her beautiful, serene smile. As her grand-daughter, she made me feel even more special because she thought her great-grandsons were so special.
She was one of the most beautiful women on the outside and the inside that I have ever known.
I will miss your voice, smile, laugh and love. Thank you for the grace you always held, the class you always showed, and the sweetness you always shared.
Your oldest grandchild