This is a picture of my grandmother, Grace Winifred Coleman Elliott. Isn't she beautiful? She was born in 1917 and she died this past weekend, which makes all of us very sad. But, we have many happy memories of her life, a life very well lived.
Above you can see her on her wedding day -- stunning! On my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary Aunt Nancy thought it would be nice if either my cousin Kara or I wore her wedding dress (we were both 17 at the time). Neither one of us could fit into it! However, I think we felt a little better when the manikin that Aunt Nancy got to showcase the dress also turned out to be almost too big for it. That beautiful bouquet of roses is obscuring it, but what a tiny waist! Her outer beauty was a very accurate picture of the inner person.
And there is the handsome couple -- Howard and Winifred Elliott! Together they had five daughters, and those five daughters produced eighteen grandchildren, and as far as I can figure, there are currently 36 great-grandchildren (although I've recently heard a rumor of a 37th!).
Here they are a few years later with one of those grandchildren, Caleb.
One of my favorite memories of Grammy is of the weekends I got to spend with her and Grandad at their house in Topeka. I just recently discovered a little diary that Grammy helped me make during one of those weekend visits. As far as I can tell, I was seven years old during this particular visit. Anyone who knows either me or Grammy will not be surprised by anything we did that weekend!
It's hard to tell, but on the cover is one of those home labels that says "Christina Stegall."
For those of you not familiar with Elliott family lore, Stephanie was a much beloved doll who first belonged (I think) to Auntie Meg. She was kept in a place of honor and brought out whenever an interested grand-daughter visited. Moie (is that spelled right, Uncle Frank?) was the Waltons' dog, also much beloved. I also remember that while Grandad preached, Grammy would always draw pictures of the sermon for me. Very impressive!
Another one of my favorite memories of Grammy happened much later. I believe I was in college and Grammy and I were walking through the Winchester cemetery. We passed two gravesites that were marked with the 6 feet long, 3 feet wide slabs that lie flat over the gravesite. Grammy gestured to those and said, "I don't like those gravestones!" When I asked her why not she said (all those who know Grammy, imagine this being said in her voice), "They will make things so difficult on the day of resurrection!" I have had many chuckles over that wonderful little joke in the years since then. I love it because it's just so . . . Grammy.
Dearest of Grammies, there will be no obstacles for you on the resurrection day!