July 18, 2011

Grandma, you are loved

My dear, sweet, 96-year-old grandmother, Virginia Richmond McDowell, passed away this afternoon.  The past two weeks have been a bit of a struggle for her as her body slowly started shutting down, despite how strong and healthy she really was for her age. I regret not being able to see her very recently before we went to Alaska but my sweet mom and all of her siblings and some of my cousins were able to be there to talk to her and take care of her.  She was such a strong, intelligent, and exemplary woman who, alongside her husband, raised 7 wonderful children who went on to raise their own children with the same unconditional love that she had and I feel so lucky to have been a recipient of that. 

(above: me with her on our wedding day, 95 years old.   below: Us with her at her 95th birthday bash.  Isn't she beautiful? I hope I'm as cute and alert and engaging as she was when I am that age)

But, she has been apart from my grandpa for quite some time now so I know they are having a glorious reunion now and I couldn't be happier for her in that regard.  She has left nothing but wonderful memories behind and I know she has served her mission here on earth in the best possible way.


This past Christmas break I got to spend a couple days all by myself with her while Devin went down to Provo to work.  I knitted next to her while she did crossword puzzles and told me stories about her and "Mac" which is what she called my grandpa :) She told me a funny story about their early days when they had first met, which I recorded on my cell phone.  You can access the audio clip by clicking on the title of this post.

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  1. Sorry to hear about your grandma. It's a good thing for her but sad for those left behind. I hope I'm going that strong at her age. Heck, I wish I was going that strong now!

  2. Claire,--What a wonderful person your grandmother was. I have fond memories visiting with her last year! I was so amazed at her sharpness in all capacities, as well as her happy countenance. It was so enjoyable to be around her.
    She was a wonderful lady.
    Your post was very touching! Thank you for sharing your memories. Love you!!

  3. Claire - I'm your mom's cousin - I met you last summer at your wedding reception. What a beautiful tribute to your cute Grandma - my sweet Aunt Virginia! I know she loved you so much and was so proud of you! We love you and your family.

  4. Claire I'm so sorry about your Grandma. That really is so amazing that she had such great quality of life for so long--that is exactly how I would like to be at that age, too. It must have been hard for you to be far away and not able to come see her again and for the funeral. We were thinking about you last week and are still. Love,

  5. Claire, I, too, am a cousin of your mother. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute to your grandmother, my beautiful, Aunt Virginia. Aunt Virginia has been an inspiration to me & I will treasure memories of her.
    It's been years since I've seen you, but I love being able to read your facebook and blog posts to still feel connected. If you're ever passing through Ohio on your way to visit home, we'd love to see you.