Monday, March 17, 2008

10 years...

Today marks the 10th Anniversary of the day my grandmother, Maxine Ankeny, passed away. She battled cancer for as long as I can remember, and finally, on Saint Patrick's Day of my Freshman year in high school, she lost that battle.

I never knew my grandpa on that side of the family, so losing my grandma was even more significant, because she had always been so loving to us grandkids. It sometimes felt as though she was making up for the fact that there was only one grandparent to spoil us.

So, to commemorate my grandma's death, and in an attempt to not forget her life, I wanted to list a few things (funny, serious, or otherwise) that I remember about my grandma.

To begin, on a serious note:

- I learned what it means to be a Christian and a Quaker from her.

-She always was a very disciplined and hard worker. She lived on a farm almost all her life and she always tended to the animals and spent time in the fields and garden.

- She taught me the value in humility, and endurance. As I said before, she fought cancer for many years, and in those years she was also fairly well off, but in talking with my grandma you would never know either of those facts. She never let on that she had money, or that she was sick, or that she was tired. She just lived her life, and was obedient to God, both in the good times and the hard times.

-She cared for the well being of her family. She always loved and looked out for us all, and really enjoyed when the HUGE Ankeny family got together. And hearing stories since her death of ways she helped people out, bailed people out, or just lovingly corrected people was a sign of how devoted she was to the protection and well being of everyone.

And now for some fun/random memories:

-I remember sitting in her dining room on the farm, being forced to snap a huge pile of beans before we could go back out and play. This probably doesn't sound significant, but being a kid from the city, I wasn't very good at snapping beans and it took my brother, sister, and I a long time to get it done.

-I also remember the lemon ice tea that we'd drink while snapping beans.

-I remember the fact that we couldn't play games with face cards at grandma's house...like I said, she taught me how to be a good Quaker. Rook anyone?

-I remember the terrible water that came out of grandma's tap.

-I remember plenty of football games on grandma's lawn after Thanksgiving.

-I remember that grandma had honey bees for a while and being deathly afraid that they were going to swarm me.

-I remember the magnetic football game in grandma's attic and the sad day when it finally stopped working.

-I remember when my cousin and my brother shot at me with their bb guns, and my grandma getting mad at them for shattering my uncle's tractor window. It wasn't me, i promise.

There's probably plenty more, like the day I wandered into her bedroom and found out grandma wore a wig, but I'll leave it there for now.

I've got a great family and we wouldn't be who we are today without the influence that grandma had on each of us.

7 comments:

Luke Ankeny said...

Thanks Michael ... speaking of family ... I hung out with Uncle Moe last night!

Wayne said...

Michael - thanks for sharing and thanks for calling. It was a perfect way to remember grandma on this day. I had been thinking about her but didn't have a chance to put anything down in words. Grandma would have loved it.

Mom

eric, janell & jackson said...

rook! we always played that at the manor with grandma hampton.

Anonymous said...

Michael,
Thank you for those wonderful words honoring grandma. I wondered if I was the only one who remember yesterday, the anniversary of her death or should I say...her graduation to heaven. She was ready to go, tired of fighting cancer and thinking about it everyday.

She loved her kids and especially loved and was very proud of her grandkids. Yes, she would have loved those words you shared.

Now, let me fill you in on the playing cards. This is what Grandma shared with me. Playing cards were a part of Grandpa's life while serving in the army during WWII. Apparently Grandpa wasn't living close to God at that time, so after his tour of duty he recommitted his life to the Lord. All the former things that was a part of his life while serving in the army he didn't want to bring it into our home. Thus, the rook cards were only allowed.

I could play nurts pretty good with rook cards, but bring out those playing cards, I'm slow as molasses! So at our next family gathering in honor of Grandpa and Grandma we need to play nurts with rook cards. :) Maybe then I could beat your Mom!

Love,
Aunt Devonne (Devo)

Anonymous said...

Michael,
I forgot that it was St. Patricks Day but thank you for helping me to remember. She meant alot to all of us and I think that it is awesome the things that you wrote. Sometimes I forget what she looks like and at times I can't hear her voice anymore but thank you for sharing what you remember as it stimulates my memory and how great she truly was. The snapping bean thing is hilarious and the gross tap water is sooo acurate or the burnt cookies that we all ate or playing life or the girls having a fashion show or how much she loved our grandfather, I wish I could have known him also for he sounds like an amazing man who loved his family with all that he had.

Thank you for remembering her your are a great guy with such sensitivity always keep that with you!
We love you and Melissa and miss you guys tons! We hope to see you soon.

Audra and Kevin Too :) (Although he is sleeping right now!!)

Anonymous said...

This was so good to read! It's amazing to see that Grandma's influence on us is still very evident in our lives. I think that we need to make sure that we hear stories, like the one that Aunt Devonne shared about the rook cards, so we can learn more about our family.

I hope you and Melissa have a great Easter...I miss having you guys around!

Tami

blogforfour said...

Great post. Thanks for taking some time and thinking of Grandma. She was a wonderful example of following Christ and how that looks day in and day out. We have a great family heritage by the grace of God.