When the World Stops Spinning

My Grams, one of the best humans to walk the face of the planet, entered into rest early last month. I had the honor of saying a few words at her memorial and several people asked if I could share those with them again. These are the words I collected in an attempt to convey what she meant to me, to so many others. They fall short, but she never did.

There are some events in life that are so significant, it feels appropriate that the world should stop spinning, if even for a moment, so we can catch our breath taken from its impact. The day Grams entered into rest, well, that was one of those events.

There’s honestly so much that could be said about Grams. To distill who she was down into a few words to describe how she walked in the world isn’t easy because she was so many things to so many people. But I’ll try anyway today by focusing on three things that stand out as the core of who she was, and I’m sure we’d all agree, she was absolutely something special.

The first is FAITH.

She never doubted that her god had a plan for her. She held onto that when things were joyous…and also when times were not so. Grams didn’t brag about it; that wasn’t her style. She simply lived it. Not because anyone was watching, but because that’s how a person steeped in integrity carries themselves. And she was most definitely a woman of integrity.

The second, as every Mexican family knows to be true, is FOOD.

If you went to Grandma’s, there was plenty of it! It wasn’t asked if you wanted tacos, but rather HOW MANY did you want. And my goodness, nothing could soothe a bad day (or make a good day even better) like a fresh tortilla with butter hot off of Gram’s comal. She showed her love in so many ways, but food and her loving preparation was one where she SHINED.

I was always in awe of how she could make masa behave with ease, rolling it into perfect circles with a rolling pin like it was her magic wand. She’d smile as I’d try to do the same, though mine were more shaped like the state of Texas. She’d tell me they were good anyway because, no matter what, she held us up. Always.

Finally, the third is FAMILY.

There was nothing more important and exciting to Grams than being with those she loved the most. And add being able to yell bingo when she got a coverall next to her family, well there was no better day to her than that.

No matter what was going on in our lives, Grams was there to cheer us on, celebrate with us, or hold our hands, and remind us that we didn’t necessarily have to be strong because she would be strong enough for all of us. The strength she had, the capacity to love, I don’t know that I’ll ever see quite that level of adoration again.

Having the privilege of being one of her grandchildren, to see the way she’d smile when she looked as us (and each new little person that was lucky enough to be born into our family), that was a gift. Her pride ran deep and she took credit for that, as she should. After my son was born, she came to visit me, cried with happiness as she held him, and then laughed as she said, “All of you are here because Grandpa and I fell in love.”

Thank goodness for that love.

I wear her shoes today, not only because Grams had style, but because I’m honored to physically walk in the shoes of a woman I can only hope to be a fraction of in this lifetime.

So today, we gather together in her honor. With faith. With food. With family. And while Grams may no longer be here physically, she’s in all of us. As we catch our breath, the world continues to spin, and we know it was a better place, because for 85 years she was a part of it.

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