Thursday, December 27, 2012

Grandma Pearl

a photo of my beautiful grandmother that my parents have displayed at their house
My grandmother has been such an inspiration to me throughout my life.  I remember as a child being so amazed by the pretty paintings she did that were hanging all over her house.  She cultivated an artistic spirit in me as well by having paper, crayons, and pencils out for my sisters and I to draw and color with while we were visiting her.  I spent so many hours in front of the TV with her watching Golden Girls or Jeopardy while drawing.  Some of my first design ideas as a kid were sketched in her living room.
She was also a talented seamstress.  My sisters and I always had the prettiest matching dresses for holiday concerts and family gatherings.  She even added special touches like a strand of pearls and made us faux fur jackets with matching hand muffs.  We were the fanciest kids in town.
I decided to start sewing classes when I was in high school once I knew that I would be going to college for apparel design.  My grandma was so proud of this that when her hands stopped her from sewing, she immediately put a sticker on her machine with my name on it.  I used that machine all through college and it's still the one I use today.
grandma Pearl, my parents, and sisters at my wedding reception
She inspired me in more than just creative pursuits though.  My grandfather died well over two decades ago. She missed him terribly and always called him her sweetheart when she spoke of him.  Even though she was lonely and often confused (due to Alzheimer's), she never lost her wit or her sense of humor.  My grandmother was a leader, an avid volunteer, and always the life of the party.  She loved working with the Senior Meals program in town and was a part of the local bowling league for as long as her body would let her.
In her younger years, she was dedicated to the sport of bowling and traveled the country as a representative of women's bowling for our state.  I was lucky enough to see her inducted into the Oregon Bowling Hall of Fame back in 1999 which was such a proud moment for her.  I will never forget the smile on her face as she was presented with a tiara at the ceremony while surrounded by family.
my grandparents with me and my twin sister Kara
Over the past few years, her Alzheimer's had gotten worse and she had a hard time remembering new information.  Due to this fact, I was able to experience multiple times how much it meant to her that we gave our daughter her name.  Nearly every time we visited since Pearl's birth, I had to explain to her that the baby has her name.  Sometimes she would remember, but in many cases, she was hearing it for the first time again.  It was a blessing to see that look of pride and tears in her eyes more than just once.  I'm glad that my little girl will always have a connection to her because of her name.
I know that in heaven, she no longer has a confused mind or a broken down body.  I thank God for that.  I'm not sure how it works exactly when we die, but I pray that she was reunited with her sweetheart and that they are enjoying their new life together.
the two Pearls


  1. she sounds like an amazing woman kira!! and wow the bowling hall of fame what an honor. i love how you described seeing your daughter pearl and then your grandma hearing her great granddaugther's name again and again what a special memory

  2. How can something be so sad and yet so happy at the same time? But it is, when we know where our loved ones are when they pass away. Such beautiful memories with such a beautiful lady. So touching how you named Pearl after her, what a gift for both of them. Hugs to you, sweet friend! xo

  3. Wow, your grandma sounds like an incredible woman Kira. How wonderful that we have the hope of eternity in Heaven! Thanks for sharing about her life, little Pearl is lucky to be named after such a remarkable lady!

  4. such a beautiful tribute, kira. your grandma sounds like an amazing woman! xo

  5. Kira,
    That is so lovely. You are so lucky to have such wonderful memories of your beautiful grandmother.
    Love you,

  6. Wow Kira, these are such beautiful words and a loving tribute. I am happy that your Grandma was able to meet Pearl, she will treasure those pictures when she is your age!

  7. What a pretty Grandma! I love that your daughter is her namesake! Sorry for your loss. I hope you find comfort that she's not suffering anymore. My own grandmother had Alzheimers and it was heartbreaking to watch the memories fade away.

  8. My own grandmothers and great-grandmothers are so special to me ... I love hearing about other peoples' too. What a lovely standard she set for your Pearl to follow!

  9. Beautiful.
    She sounds like an amazing woman!


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