4 generation picture with my Granny, my Mom, me and Tiaree
My Granny, Gladys Valerie Hancock Steadman, passed away early this morning. She had been struggling with Alzheimer's for probably 10+ years so her passing is something that is actually a relief to me. My Grandad, her husband, passed in 2006 and to know that they are together again makes me so happy! Also comforting is knowing that she KNOWS who I am again. She knows me and she knows Tracy and she knows my kids! She knows I have 4 kids and that I have 3 girls and 1 boy! She knows their names! (This turned into something of a joke in my family as she would constantly ask how many kids I had and then she'd call Jarik and girl and the girls boys! Kind of a coping mechanism for dealing with the hurt of her forgetting.) If I saw her there would be recognition and love in her eyes instead of confusion and frustration. This brings me such JOY! Honestly there is more joy in her passing than sorrow. She is herself again, she doesn't have to suffer any more and she is with her husband who she so loved and who just adored her!
I am so very grateful for my knowledge of the Gospel and the Plan of Salvation. To know that she is still my grandmother and will be for eternity and that I will get to see her again brings me such comfort and strength. I am so grateful for my Savior and his atoning sacrifice that makes all this possible! I'm also grateful for the time I was able to spend with her before she passed. Last week we took the kids to say good bye. She was awake and talking, but not to those of us in the room. It was a very sweet, spiritual experience to know there were people there to help her transition. Jarik was watching her and was really quiet. When we got home he told us that he'd felt other people there and that when he got even closer to her, he felt it even more. What a neat experience for him to remember! I got to go spend time with her and my Aunts and Uncles on Friday night. It was so special to just sit and hold her hand and talk to her and rub her arm. Kind of payback for the years and years of her doing that to us :) It was a very sweet experience that I will never forget.
Granny's story is one of strength and faith. I want to share a bit of it :) She was born in Durban, Natal, South Africa on March 24, 1929. Her family was baptized into the Church when she was like 2. She grew up listening to Music and The Spoken Word on the radio, when they could get it :)She loved the Choir and she was blessed with a beautiful soprano voice. When she was just 21 years old she boarded a boat and set sail for New York, all by herself. I think of me at 21 and I don't know if I would have had the courage to do that! She came to America with the purpose of singing in the Tabernacle Choir and marrying in the temple. When she got to New York, she went to the mission home and met President Morris. He wanted her to meet a certain Elder who had just left the mission to go back home to Salt Lake. President Morris gave my Granny a sock and said it belonged to an Elder Steadman and asked if she'd be kind enough to return it when she arrived in Salt Lake. She did, they fell in love and her first desire of marrying in the Temple came true. She was married with none of her family present because they weren't in the US yet. That would have been so hard, to be alone on your wedding day! I'm sure my Gandad's family took care of her though!
Well my Grandad was a very musical man. He and his brother's had a radio program in Salt Lake that they'd sing on and his mission turned into a very musical mission. That is one thing that I remember really well about my Grandad, his love of music. Well my Granny's 2nd reason for coming to America was fulfilled with my Grandad. They both were members of The Mormon Tabernacle Choir for 20 years! I have such memories of my Granny singing. She was ALWAYS singing! She'd sing while she cooked, she'd sing while she got ready, she'd sing while she rubbed your back and that just lulled you to sleep! :)
Granny was such a classy, put together lady. I remember watching her get ready for the day and it was such a routine! It was so fun to just watch her as she did her hair and makeup. She always looked immaculate! From her clothes to her nails to her makeup and hair. Anyway, she was just fun to watch and to emulate.This is at my wedding and shows just what a classy lady she was. Crappy pic though :) Took a pic of the pic with my cell phone cause I couldn't get it out to scan it! Love that it's her and Grandad too!!
I will miss, and have missed, my Granny. I'm so glad that she is happy again and with Grandad again. I'm sure theirs was a very sweet, happy reunion! She is probably already busy singing and visiting and ready to get put to work on the other side! I love you Granny!!
Granny and Bree 2008
Granny and Jarik 2008
Granny and Tiaree 2008
Granny and Keighlee 2008