Yesterday my Grandma Carter passed away suddenly in a car accident. I'm still struggling to really comprehend that she is gone. I grew up living only about 5 minutes away from my Grandma. She was in my home ward and even taught my sunday school class when I was in high school. She was always there at every stage of my life, which is why its difficult to believe she will no longer be there when I go home. I have so many memories with her that it seems like everything I do now reminds me of her. I decided it might help if I sat down and wrote out some of my favorite memories with her.
1. Grandma was one of the most talented women I've ever known. She was an amazing painter and did some beautiful oil paintings throughout her life. She also crocheted, knitted, sewed...you name it. She sewed every grandchild their own personalized christmas stocking. She even made one for Keith after we got married. She was so artistic but was always very humble about her talents.
Our Stockings :)
Painting of my cousin Sandi
Painting of my sister Ashley
2. Grandma was so fun and had a really great sense of humor. She had the funniest stories to tell you. She also loved to laugh and when I think of her now, that is what I remember the most. There were many times she would try to tell you a story but she would be laughing so hard she couldn't even finish telling the rest!
3. She was so knowledgeable and faithful in the gospel. She worked in the temple every week and served in numerous different church callings. Just over a week ago I was talking to her on the phone and she told me about the sunday school lesson she had given that day and about all the things she had learned while preparing for her lesson. She reminded me how important it is to study the scriptures and told me that even after reading The Book of Mormon hundreds of times, she always find something new to learn each time. She never missed an opportunity to share her testimony with me.
4. Grandma was a hard worker. I can't even count the number of times we would pull into the driveway and Grandma would be in front of our house pulling our weeds for us. There was never a time when my Grandma didn't have a big project going on. One time, Grandma even installed her own sprinkler system in her front yard! She could really do anything.
5. She loved to garden and spent countless hours working on her "hill" that backed up to her house. One time our local paper even printed a full page, color picture of her gardening on her hill. She also loved going to the farmers market down at Knob Hill. I went with her a few times and then we would go for walks on the beach together after. Grandma especially loved Dahlias and went to a Dahlia club at the botanical gardens.
6. Grandma loved spending time with her family. Every year she planned a big Carter family Christmas party. No matter how old we were, she would make us dress up and act out the nativity, while reading the story of Jesus's birth and singing hymns. She would then put on a Santa hat and hand out gifts to each of us. It would always include a nice letter in which she would share her testimony of the savior.
7. Grandma knew how to stretch a dollar. She would always use coupons or save coupons that she thought someone else might want. Whenever she rented a movie, she would bring it by our house before she returned it. She wanted to make sure she got the most views for her buck :)
8. Grandma loved my long blonde hair and was always telling me she loved that I "frosted" it (highlighted it).
9. Grandma always had extra meals in her freezer. She even froze leftover waffles and then would heat them up in the toaster. I think her and Grandpa actually beat Eggo to the idea! "Sherbet dessert" and "slush punch" are some other classic Grandma Carter recipes. When we were younger, she would always use these laminated placemats that had pictures of the places her and Grandpa had travelled to including Egypt, Niagra Falls, China and others. We also always used colored plastic cups at Grandmas. Each grandkid would have to pick a color and then that would be your color for the whole time you were at Grandma's house.
10. Before Keith and I got married I remember Grandma sat us down and gave us some marriage advice. Some of her advice included: Never go to bed angry, never speak negatively about your spouse to others, always hold hands when you say prayers and always pray together before you go to bed. Pretty good advice if you ask me!
I love you Grandma and I'll miss you more than I can really describe. I'm so grateful for all the fun memories I shared with you and for the wonderful example you have always been of service and commitment to the gospel. I know you and Grandpa Carter are so happy to be together again and I look forward to the time when we will meet again.
Love you Grandma!