Monday, April 6, 2009

My Very Special Grandma, Janet Rose

Feeding Grandma some toast

How big is Sophie? Thissssssss BIG!

Give Grandma kisses! MMMMMMMMMM!

"My Grandma was a very special person to me. I loved her so so sooooo much and I knew she loved me too. She always made me smile and laugh. I loved giving her big, slobbery, wet kisses...more than anyone else in the world. I was the twinkle in my grandma's eyes. My grandma spoiled me like no one else too. She bought me all kinds of toys, clothes, and puzzles. One little outfit I still fit into says, "I'll always be Grandma's little sweetie!" But my most favorite thing my grandma bought me was a soft, furry "nannette". That's her name for blanket. I sleep with it every night and I remember how soft my grandma's face was. I miss my grandma very much, but I will always keep her in my heart. I love you Grandma-------thissssssss much!!!!!!

your little angel,
Sophie Rose"

My dear, sweet mom went to be with the Lord on March 20th. Her health had been declining in recent years due to diabetes and heart issues, but she seemed to be holding her own when suddenly she had a heart attack while sleeping. We know she went quickly and hopefully painlessly. This blog is dedicated to preserving her memory for Sophie Rose who was named after her grandma.

God is good and he blessed us with a wonderful visit the week before she died. During that week she had the time of her life, going to Graumann's Chinese Theater and a live play at the Pantages for the first time. She visited with her favorite "aunt and uncle" in nearby Port Hueneme, shopped till she dropped, and went out to dinner with her loving family. My mom was excited to take home a little Chihuahua named "Angel", a 1 1/2 year old rescue dog who loved sitting on my mom's lap and sleeping most of the day. But most especially, she enjoyed being with Sophie the most!

Everyday Grandma would wake up and have a bowl of Cream of Wheat with Sophie. Her grandma was the one who made her "addicted" to the bland, white cereal. One morning, while I was showering and Grandma was on "Sophie duty", she allowed (if not downright encouraged) Sophie to spill all her milk and cereal on her high chair tray. Then joyfully watched as Sophie spontaneously started pounding the tray splattering the milk ALL OVER her face, the floor, and the nearby counter top! It was the biggest mess I've ever seen and my mom was laughing hysterically. I, on the other hand, didn't think it was that funny because I had to clean it up. I'm so glad my mom, who kept a clean and meticulous house, was finally able to cut loose a little bit with her granddaughter.

My mom's face lit up whenever Sophie made her eyebrows go up and down at her. It would tickle my Mom's funny bone. Sophie knew so many baby signs in sign language that Grandma wanted to learn them all so she could better communicate with her. My mom enjoyed every little cute mannerism, sweet smile, and amazingly clever thing Sophie did. Grandma was Sophie's biggest fan and Sophie knew it!

Another game they would always play went like this:

Mom would say, "How big is Sophie?" and Sophie would automatically raise both arms above her head and grin from ear to ear, tensing up her whole body with excitement. Sophie knew Grandma loved seeing her do this by the over-the-top reaction my mom gave her. Sometimes they'd repeat the game over and over several times as they both laughed and squealed in merriment.

My mom loved sitting out in the yard, enjoying the warm Southern California sunshine and so did Sophie. Whereever my mom was there was Sophie not far behind. They hung out most of the time together. Many morning and afternoons they'd go outside and my mom would watch as Sophie puttered around in the backyard playing in the dirt, picking up rocks and handing them to her. One of my favorite memories is watching my mom and Sophie walking across the grass, Sophie stepping on each stepping stone holding her grandma's hand, as Grandma cheered her on every step of the way. They loved being outside together.

Grandma loved shopping and enjoyed buying things for Sophie. Sophie loved puzzles so Grandma went out and bought her one with animals that made noises. She bought her two textured balls to develop her tactile sense. She bought her a beautiful red dress with white embroidery on it with a matching purse and sunglasses at Baby Gap. She also bought her two play cell phones. There were no limits on what Grandma would buy her little angel.

My mom loved jewelry. She always had matching earrings, necklaces and rings. She especially loved pearls (her birthstone) and diamonds. Several times when I'd talk to her over the phone she'd asked when I was going to get Sophie's ears pierced. I told her as soon as she healed from her palate surgery. A couple of weeks ago she gave me a little silk pouch with two pairs of small diamond earrings. They were for Sophie. I am so glad I have those special earrings that my mom wanted her granddaughter to have to remember her by.

When we first accepted Sophie's referral in July, it was Grandma who went out and bought hundreds of dollars worth of baby items, including pajamas, onesies, outfits, Robeez shoes, a clothes hamper, toys, and blankets. My mom gave me her own little baby shower. I could tell that my mom was excited to meet her newest granddaughter because she wore a pink pin that said, "I have a new granddaughter!" I loved seeing Mom have something to look forward too and get excited about.

My mom lived 3 1/2 hours away in Fresno and we visited her once a month. But that wasn't enough "Sophie-time" for her. We Skyped her frequently so she could see Sophie give "eyebrows", eating dinner, taking her first steps, crawling up and down the steps, waving bye-bye, and blowing Grandma kisses. We'd call her or she'd call us to see what new things Sophie was doing. When I put my cell on speakerphone, the caller's picture pops up. So when Grandma called, Sophie could see Grandma's picture. She was so excited to see her grandma and almost always kissed the picture and wave hi. It was so precious to see the love go back and forth through the phone line.

Sophie had a special, close connection-like no one else-to her grandma. Whenever I asked Sophie to give Grandma kisses, she would kiss her without hesitation, sometimes 3-4 times. Even to this day, Sophie won't give anyone else that many kisses on command. Sophie felt very comfortable sitting on her grandma's lap or holding her hand. Even to this day, when I show Sophie a picture of Grandma, her face lights up, she gets a twinkle in her eye, a big grin sweeps across her face, and she kicks her legs and claps her hands. Sophie was very special to her grandma, and her grandma will always hold a special place in Sophie's heart.
One last memory to share before I close...after downloading the above pictures of my mom, I showed them to Sophie. Her eyes lit up, a smile spread across her face, and she grabbed the computer screen and gave it a kiss. Then she said, " Guh ma". Her official 2nd word. As Courtney and I sighed, "Ahhhhhh!" Sophie then said, "I love you" in sign language while looking at her Grandma's picture. I hope she never forgets her Grandma...I know I won't.


mike C said...

Very good job my sister LOve you Lots Mike

Lisa said...

what a beautiful dedication and rememberance of your Mom. She was a very special lady and mischevious as well :-) Her connection with Sophie, while brief, will be remembered always ~ and she will live in all our hearts forever.

string cheese said...

Paula, that will stay in my heart, always..Sophie will always remember her Grandma, as the years go by and she gets older...she was my sister but always my friend...miss her so much.....

Jenn said...

I am so sorry to hear about your mother. What sweet memories you have with her and Sophie though! What a gift and a blessing.


The Richerts said...

Paula, So sorry to hear about your loss. Hoping and knowing that our Lord will comfort and strengthen you.
What fun to see the great pictures of Sophie! She is beautiful and seems to be doing so well. What a delight.