We just returned from Idaho. Mom passed away July 25th and we had a wonderful funeral and tribute to her amazing life. I am so grateful for the time she gave me and the lessons learned from her throughout my life. Britta and I had a wonderful experience putting together a book on her life. Early morning is my time to contemplate. I felt really prompted one day to take pictures and try to save memories from Mom and Dad's wonderful home. I called Britta and told her my feelings, we began to brainstorm and she felt the same encouragement from her heart. Together we came to the decision to make a book of grandma's life. Britta had interviews she had recorded from the summer she cared for grandma after her stroke and we made a trip to Idaho to take pictures and interview grandma more. Sara was able to go with us on this trip and she has such a special gift of communicating with grandma and her family that it made it extra special to have her with us. We picked grandma up just before her 93rd birthday in March 2009 and we had an opportunity to interview her and aunt Ella together before we left for Utah. They were so cute giggling and chatting about their courtships and childhoods. We made a digital recording of the conversation and then we told Ella goodbye and left for Utah. At Britta's house in Orem we did ongoing interviews and had Mom answer questions; who was in photos and what the circumstances were. We also did a "photo shoot" and got some great pictures of grandma. On this trip we were able to scan many photos from Mom, Carolyn and Jack's albums.
Just a few days after this trip Ella had a stroke. Around June 14th, I was in Utah again, this time for Brian's wedding, we were working hard on the book when we got a call that Mom had broken her hip. I traveled to Idaho Falls and spent as much time as I could with her. I was happy we had finished the time line for the book so I could show her. I was suprised she was not very hopeful when I got to the hospital, she was trying to do her therapy but it was almost overwhelming for her. She didn't seem very interested in the time line. As time progressed, she lost her will, and July 25th she left this life for a better one with her eternal companion. I am so grateful for Britta's work to finish the book. We read to her from it in her final days and will never forget her smiles as she listened to childhood memories she had described during the interviews.
The book, on the life of Leona Josephine Nelson Grover is available for all Leona's progeny to remember her by, in many of her own words and pictures throughout her life. This picture was taken on her last visit to my house in Washington while she loved being outside in the sunshine, walking in the yard, observing the garden and the animals we have. I love you Mom.