Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Melba Miller: August 14, 1911 - April 26, 2011

My grandma passed away early this morning.  I got the call a little after 6am.  We were all gathered around her bed last night, taking turns stroking her forehead, holding her hand, whispering in her ear the things we wanted her to carry with her.  It was a sweet time.  As my sister in law put it: the ultimate family home evening.

I told her that Grandpa would come for her and she should look for him.  He would be anxious to see her and that she was so, so beautiful.  As far under as she was, that got a reaction from her.  I told her about the fun she would have with her 8 sisters and 2 brothers who were also waiting for her, and I wanted her to tell her sister Onie that she was my favorite.  We talked about the good times, and repeated funny stories.  I played her Enya on my iPod - kind of like angels singing.
She just couldn't seem to leave us just then.  A couple of times I thought she was gone, but then she came back.  My aunt was exhausted and so we all went home.  And so, this morning when all was quiet and it was just my aunt and the nurse, Grandma was finally able to go meet her sweet husband and have a joyful reunion with him after 34 years apart.  I keep trying to imagine that reunion - and I know it was joyful - but I'm having a hard time with it.  Selfish, I know.
Melba Miller loved life.  She loved people in all shapes and forms.  She never met a stranger.  She found fun in the mundane as well as the unusual.  She loved to dance, and was so light on her feet.  She wore her little white Keds with everything.  She was on a bowling team until she was 90-something.  She was a tickler of small children's arms.  She was a knitter of Christmas slippers and a seamstress of prom dresses.  She understood all when it seemed no one else did.  And when the great grandchildren came and grew, she extended her generous and exuberant spirit to them.  How many great grandchildren are lucky enough to have grown up knowing, loving, and being loved by their great grandmother?  And her great great grandchildren will grow up having baby pictures of them being held by one of the most amazing women ever created.

It was sweet to see the devotion and love shown by my children this past week towards Grandma.  She totally deserved it, and in better days she would have loved the attention.  Luckily, she was the recipient of their attention quite often.  To say they adored her would be an understatement.  This was the woman who traveled to Hawaii in her 90s to see Katie graduate from BYUH.  She wouldn't have missed it.

 And a few years later into her 90's she went to Utah to see Scott graduate from UVU.  Only natural, in her mind.  Miss it?  Never.  Her enthusiasm was contagious, and she hated to leave any kind of party.
And now she's moved on to another family gathering.  We're happy for her - we really are.  But our lives are suddenly poorer being deprived of her amazing spirit, and it's left us a little flat.  I long to sit by her once more and hold her hand.  I would give anything to see her whipping up a little something in the kitchen again, or serving my dad his extra big piece of pie.  She took care of her men, that's for sure.  She's been a most excellent example to me in every way.  Work hard, look for the good in everything, love your family.  And laugh.  A lot.
I found two verses that reminded me so of her.  The first:

Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears,
but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you.
'Twas heaven to be here with you, I loved you so.
 - Isla Pascal Richardson

And my favorite:

I'm not going to die, I'm going home
like a shooting star.
 - Sojourner Truth

You go, Grandma.  You are well loved by so many and you'll be sorely missed.  Watch over us, and whisper your good advice to us in our sleep.  And save me a seat next to you so you can tickle my arm.


  1. Condolence to you and to your family...Daniel

  2. I'm sitting here crying reading this. I miss her...

  3. What a beautiful testiment to your Grandmothers life. She remindes me of my grandmother, and I cried for both.

  4. This post has brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful lady. You can tell by her radiance that she lived life well. My sympathy to all the people she left behind.

  5. This beautiful tribute to your grandma made me cry, Karen. And I love that last quote! Is it the one we found on a greeting card in that cool little shop? It's perfect.

    Every picture of her you posted here shows her exuberance and zest for life. Clearly, she was a force for good in the world, and I'm sure that energy will still be felt by you on many occasions.

    Hugs to your and the whole family. Dave and I will keep all of you in our prayers.


  6. Sorry to hear about your loss. What a beautiful tribute to her. Keeping you and your family in our prayers. hugs

  7. Oh, Karen--I am so sorry. This is a beautiful tribute to her.
    Here is a little quote for you--

    "Perhaps they are not stars in the sky but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy."
    -----Eskimo Proverb

    I'll be thinking of you-----

  8. I'm so glad she was able to finally go. I know you were waiting. Such a sweet post. Thank you....

  9. Karen, I'm sorry I got behind in my comments.. I had a few computer problems but I just had to catch up with you. I'm so sorry about your Grandmother. What a beautiful lady and it seems her spirit matched her outside. Your tribute is so sweet and you can feel your love come right through. I love all the pictures too. Your are so right, she is having such a great reunion with everyone and yet I'm sure she's still keeping an eye on you! Again, my condolences.

  10. Sitting here with big, fat tears running down my cheeks. What a wonderful tribute to your dear grandmother, Karen. It touches my heart and leaves you with sweet memories.
    Both my parents died when I left the room and the Hospice nurses told me that often people stay until loved ones go because they beleive, they don't want to hurt them by leaving.
    Your 5 generation picture is a treasure for sure and shows what a wonderful legacy your beautiful grandmother leaves. Hugs, friend.

  11. What a beautiful post for a beautiful lady. I'm sure she is watching over you.

  12. That was a beautifully written and a great tribute, to what sounds like, a very wonderful woman!

    So sorry for your loss.

  13. Thank you for writing this! It totally made me cry : (

  14. I second Emily's comment. Wish we could have been there for her funeral. We'll miss her. So glad we got some pictures of her with Lexi.

  15. I love that you have a 5 generation picture with her- she's so beautiful. She was the kind of grandma that everyone wishes that they had, I know I do.


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