The Prettiest Rose in Texas

El Paso had some significance for our visit besides being the closest city in Texas.  My paternal grandparents are buried at Fort Bliss National Cemetery.  I remember attending my grandfathers funeral with the 21 gun salute.  My grandmother died 2 years later and I wasn't able to attend her funeral.  I have wanted to visit her grave for many years.
 My Grandpa Crews served in the army during both World War II and the Korean War.  He was a Chief Warrant Officer which "are advanced-level experts who perform the primary duties of a technical and tactical leader.   They provide direction, guidance, resources, assistance, and supervision necessary for subordinates to perform their duties.  They primarily support operations levels from team or detachment through the brigade."(Wikipedia)  Chief Warrant Officers are commissioned by the President of the United States.
 I was very close to my Grandma Crews.  She was one of those quintessential grandmas that movies portray.  Her grandbabies could do no wrong and were the best and brightest at everything in her eyes.  She poured on the love and praise like syrup on pancakes.  She had a heart the size of Texas.  Grandma Crews took care of me before and after school.  Some of my fondest memories of her are watching our soap opera The Young and the Restless while having egg sandwiches.  She was a wonderful cook too.  I would love to have her chicken and dumpling recipe. 
  We had a strong bond and I never wanted to leave her.  She was a rock in the uncertain times of my parents' divorce.  Things were always good at Grandma's house.  One day in second grade I was determined to not go to school.  I refused to get in line when the bell rang.  I begged and pleaded to stay with her.  She tried to be stern with me but I was being a real brat.  Finally after all the kids started to go in, she gave me a swat on the butt and said to get in that line immediately.  I was shocked into compliance and left her crying.  As soon as I got in class I was fine, however the principal called down to my teacher for me to go see him.  I was shaking with fear.  I thought to myself, 'Oh man, I had really done it this morning!'  I got to his office to find my Grandma bawling her eyes out.  The principal had to call me down to reassure my Grandma that I was okay.  She was so distraught from having to discipline me.  I don't remember ever testing her again.  I didn't want to ever upset her like that again.
Over 23 years later, I still miss her a lot and think of her often.  She would have loved nothing more than to know the kids.  We wore purple, her favorite color and left her favorite flower, the yellow rose of Texas.  She loved roses and had gardens of them where she lived.  She was much like a rose in my life.  Beautiful, bright, soft, but tough as she endured many hardships over her life including her battle with cancer.  I hope to pass on the way she loved, fiercely.
 With the passing of Grandpa Larry and visiting my Grandparents graves Max was struck with the minuteness of now.  All of the things we define ourselves by, our possessions, our jobs, our houses, and stuff.  They all cease to exist and over time have no significance.  In fact those "precious things" become someone else's trash.  All that is left is a headstone and the memories you made with those you love.  In time those things pass too.  
 Thankfully this is not the end.  By Christ's fierce love I will see her again and bask in the glow of the prettiest rose that ever grew in Texas.

Life: It's not the size of the splash, but the joy you find along the way!
Love others fiercely.


2 comments:

Courtney said...

Beautiful post. I think you are a lot like your Grandma Crews...her namesake even. ;)
XOXO

Courtney said...

Beautiful post. I think you are a lot like your Grandma Crews...her namesake even. ;)
XOXO