A Tribute…and a Goodbye

My sweet grandma passed away on Tuesday morning.

She was 93.

It shocked me and shook me more than I thought it would. It has taken a few days to even be able to write about her.

And the life she lived.

You see, my grandma wasn’t a normal grandma. Or mother. Or friend. Or, really, human being.

I am not calling her weird, though I’m sure she’s laughing right now. πŸ˜‰

She was a mother of TWELVE. Not completely uncommon for that generation, but still. TWELVE.

She was a widow at 49, many of her children still at home, her youngest just seven years old.

She went back to school and became a nurse so she could support her family. Though our conversations never really went there, I’ve heard from a lot of people that she was pretty darn good at what she did, too. Somehow, I can totally see that.

She was a volunteer, always helping out at her church’s rerun shop.

She went on mission trips every summer to the Appalachian mountains…until she turned 80.

Yes, 80.

She was a grandmother to 29.

A great-grandmother to 69.

A great-great grandmother to 11.

And when I read these things about her and I see the woman she was and the way she lived and loved…I’m just inspired.

Inspired, not just by what she did, but by the love in which she did it.

It was never about her.

Most of my memories of her are from when I was younger…from the times we would spend at the old farmhouse.

But just a year or two ago, I was back in Creston and stopped over at her house to visit. While we were chatting, I noticed a photo of her with my grandpa that was sitting out…they were both young, in their 20’s, and my grandpa was in his Navy uniform.

I asked her about it, and she started telling me more about my grandpa than I’d ever heard before. And as she spoke, she got this teenager-in-love twinkle in her eye.

I asked, Was he cute?

And she giggled like a little girl. Well, yes.

I think I melted a little here. :)

And we talked about him a little more before the conversation went somewhere else.

I’ll hold that memory dear and close to my heart for the rest of my life…that sweet conversation that took place between granddaughter and grandma, just the two of us.Β That glimpse into her heart from a place I rarely saw.

She always made me feel special…like I mattered, even though there were so many of us. Well, it’s true. There WERE a lot of us. (Really, you should see what her two-bedroom house looks like when everyone is there.) πŸ˜‰

We were all special to her…we all mattered.

And she left behind a legacy worth celebrating…and a lot of people who will miss her so much.

I love you, Grandma.

GrandmaAllenFlorence Catherine Allen
September 20, 1920-March 4, 2014

You can read my grandma’s obituary here.



  1. Beautiful post and tribute to what sounds like a wonderful wonderful woman!! Praying coming for you this weekend!

  2. ((Hugs)) so sorry for your loss. Your grandma sounds like a beautiful soul! Thinking of you in these days of both grieving and in celebrating the life she lived.

  3. What a blessing of a woman! I’m so happy that you knew such a loving relationship with her. I’m so sorry for your loss, Mel. Sending you a hug and prayer across the miles! XOXO

    • She was such a blessing…and an inspiration. Feeling blessed to have had such an amazing grandma in my life. :) Love you, friend!

  4. Mel, I’m praying for you. My husband lost his grandmother on Tuesday as well. I’ve been with my husband since we were 12, so I feel as if she was my own grandmother. She was 92.
    Your tribute is beautiful! She sounds like an amazing women. I haven’t found the words to write about our loss yet. It’s so difficult.
    I’m sure your beautiful grandmother would be proud of your words today. God bless you and yours…

    • Oh, hugs to you and your family, my friend. I’m sorry for your loss. I agree…it feels huge and is so hard to even put into words that feel adequate. And, yet, I just keep going back to the blessing of having her in my life. What a gift. :) Prayers for you all!

  5. What a beautiful memory you have. Just reading your words as you honor your grandmother inspires me. I am reminded how I need to make the effort to make others feel special and loved. I need to make sure I tell my loved ones what they mean to me because I never know when I won’t be able to. Thank you for sharing just a little of your grandmother with us. I pray that you and your family are comforted in the days and months ahead.

  6. Kimberly says:

    Love you friend. Such a beautiful post and your words make me hopeful :) Such amazing things God can do with a life, especially when we just keep going.

    • I think that’s something I will always remember about my grandma…she often just did what needed to be done, and while doing those things, found ways to bless everyone around her. That just inspires me so much. :) Love to you, friend…you are a precious blessing.

  7. Sorry to hear of the pain-of-parting-here loss….but so thankful she loved and lived so well. What a legacy! Praying God comforts your heart. (As a side note, my grandma had 14 kids+2 foster kids=oodles of cousins…. ;)) Thoughts for you in the quiet this afternoon.

  8. What a completely sweet post, she was for sure something special! :) I’m sorry to hear she’s gone now but am happy to say you’ll see her again in heaven. I hope I can meet her too πŸ˜‰

  9. Oh Mel, I’m sorry to hear of your loss. Your grandmother sounds like a truly wonderful and beautiful person. Praying for you as you walk this road. Hugs!

  10. such a sweet tribute, friend! glad I found it and read it! continuing to pray for you!

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