Saturday, April 21, 2012

Beautiful Moments in difficult days/Flowers for Gramma

Hey folks, hope you all are doing well. This week was one of the roughest I think I've ever had, but I am coming back out of my shell now! Thank goodness I had all my TCP projects and posts ready to go. That was such a blessing! This is a really long and personal post, so if you're not up for that no worries, but I wanted to share about this day.
Anyway, as you may already know, my amazing Gramma passed away last week. The Memorial service was this morning, and I have to tell you, last night I was laying in bed awake, alternately dreading today and wanting it to be over with. I woke up this morning with that sick feeling you get when you wake up and realize that, yes, this thing that tears you up inside is really happening. I got dressed and ready to go.....

When I was growing up, my Gramma took care of me in the summers, and before and after school, when I was sick, etc. So, we spent a lot of time together. I grew up in Colorado Springs, CO; the home to Pikes Peak, which is not the tallest, but is one of the most famous mountains in CO. My Gramma was such a strong Christian, and she taught me so much about Jesus. Always as we would drive around town, she would look up at Pikes Peak and say "I can see Jesus so clear in the Peak today." I would always ask her to show me how Jesus was on the Peak, and she would try, but I could never really see it. After she passed on Tuesday, one of the thoughts I had was "Now I'm never going to see Jesus in the Peak. There's no way I'll see it now." And, I do not know why that thought struck me so, as it wasn't something Gramma and I had discussed in years. She hadn't even driven a car in the last decade of her life, but, for some reason this was really bothering me. Maybe it was because this last 2 years have been rough, and sometimes it's hard to see Jesus when things are difficult. I don't know.

Anyway, back to this morning. Hubby, the boys and I were driving down to the Springs. We were still about 40 miles north of the city. the day was gorgeous, perfect CO day. Blue skies, puffy white clouds, green ground, purple mountains majesty, the whole shebang. (One of the reasons I will always be a CO girl, is the sky here. everything is so clear, and it's easy to see even hundreds of miles away on a clear day.) So, I'm driving, and I'm almost irritated by this weather. I felt I couldn't enjoy it, I felt somehow as if the weather should match my dark mood. Just at a perfect moment, I looked up... and, I saw Him! I saw Jesus in the face of Pikes Peak! Immediately I felt all my anguish melt away. Tears flowed down my face, it was a total God moment. I felt like Jesus was saying to me "Even when you can't see me, I am here. I am always here." And, I also felt like that was my Gramma's final gift to me. I know she is at peace. 

She had lived in a nursing home for the last 9 years, and she was on Medicaid. So, my aunt and Mom were responsible for covering any costs associated with the Memorial Service. Of course, flowers from the funeral home were very pricey (I think one arrangement would have been more than we paid to do all these), and even from a florist they would have been expensive. We all agreed, we didn't want anything somber or "funeral-y." We decided the whole family would wear bright colors and we wanted to use flowers and things that she would have liked. I offered to do the flowers, it was something i could easily do, even from where I live, which is about 90 minutes away. I love arranging flowers and I knew I could do it for a fraction of the cost that they would have paid a professional. Anyway, I did all these; 4 large vases, a wreath, a few candles, and 10 small vases for just around 130$. If you know someone who's having a wedding, baptism, or other kind of service, this is a great idea to save. This is what I started with:
This HUGE pile of flowers came from Costco and Safeway, and cost about 90$.

Most of the vases and candleholders came from my kitchen cabinets, but I did buy these bowls, the gems, ribbon, and one other large vase. 

There were 10 small shelves and one large shelf on the wall at the front of the little chapel. That's why I thought these little arrangements would be nice. They looked really nice up there! Here's how they turned out:
 pretty, I know she would love these... And here's a closeup on one:

I made a wreath with her photo in the middle, these are silk flowers, a grapevine wreath, and a pretty frame from Hobby Lobby. The whole thing cost about 25$ and would be a nice gift for someone who has lost a loved one, or even for a wedding or baptism, you could use a photo of the couple or the baby being christened. 

There were four large vases, my favorite is the one I did in this pitcher she had for decades and gave to me several years back...

and the other 3, they are all a little different...

Now, if you wanted something more formal, you could always go with all the same kind of flowers, or all the same color flowers, etc. But we really are celebrating her life, and who she was, so we wanted bright colors, casual style, etc. We all dressed in bright colors too. To this day, every time I get dressed, I hear her voice saying "Honey, you really should have some color by your face." :) So, to my friends, if you want to know why I wear a lot of color, that is why! Here's all of it together again:

....and, I don't know if you can tell, but this is the first post I'm doing using my new camera! Hubby and I bought a great new camera a couple weeks ago, and it takes fabulous photos. It's not an SLR, but it's bigger like that, and I can see that the larger size really does make a difference in the pictures. I hardly had to edit these at all, and I just used the auto setting. :) I think you will see the real difference once you see card photos. :)  Hope you are all well! There are still a few Peeks left for TCP, so keep checking in.

xoxo, Noelle


Joan V said...

Noelle,I am so sorry about your Grandma's passing. I haven't been on any blogs for a few months, so Please accept my late sympathy.
I know you must feel like your heart is broken, but remember that your
Grandma is always alive in your heart.

erica922 said...

Noelle,I am so sorry about your Grandma's passing I know the feeling, mine died when I was just 8 but i always remember her and she's part of my life because I named my first daughter after her MARINA :(
HUgs for you.

~Tammy~ said...

So Sorry Noelle for your loss. Just a year ago I lost my Grandmother and it is still difficult, but they are always with us. They are apart of us. I remember that same sick feeling. It's just hard knowing physically they won't be with us.

Your creations are beautiful! What a special way to honor her!

LeAnne said...

What a wonderful testimony and sweet story about you grandmother. You are very blessed to have had a grandmom with a strong Christian faith who passed it along to you. And so glad you were able to see Jesus in the Peak!! Your flowers are GORGEOUS and I am so glad you wore bright colors---I am sure she is celebrating in heaven!!! Praying for you & your family, my friend!

alma said...

Oh my word! The flowers are just gorgeous and I know bright happy colors are just the ticket when celebrating the life of a loved one.

Pam Speidel said...

My sincere sympathy in the loss of your dear Gramma, but how wonderful to know she's resting in perfect peace with Jesus! Your flowers are so beautifully arranged and the perfect tribute to her memory.
God's blessings! ♥ Pam

wendy said...

Noelle you did an amazing job on the flowers...alot of love went into this and it certainly thoughts are with you and your family...

Kelli Hull said...

Noelle, I have NOTHING to say about this post as what popped into my head to say you said first! YES!!! Your Gramma TOTALLY showed you what your heart was READY to see... God let you know that he was ALWAYS there and that dark mood was lifted... Gramma is HAPPY and she let you know! About those flowers... I think that these are THE most BEAUTIFUL flower arrangements EVER for a funeral! Who says they have to be stuffy? They should look like the person you are honoring and saying "see ya later" too, NEVER Goodbye as you will meet again another day!!!
The picture of your gramma TOTALLY made me smile! OMGOSH! The HAPPY in her smile!!!
Thank you SO much for sharing such a DEEP part of you and I cherish these bits and pieces of my friends I get to have!!!
LOVE TO YOU!!!!! <3

Jenny said...

Noelle- so very sorry to hear about your granny- I know you were close as I've seen lots of pages and cards devoted to her:) I was so moved about your story of finally seeing Jesus in the peak! Brought tears to my eyes!! She sounded like an amazing inspiration in your life and you have so many memories to treasure:):) She is always in your heart!

Crafting Rebellion said...

Such a touching story, and such beautiful flowers!