Thursday, January 7, 2010

May The Grandma Rest in Peace

One of my best friends died two weeks ago.  It is Mr. Fun's Grandmother:  Joycie.  I have always called her "The Grandma" because she was the woman of all women.  You would have loved to sit and have a visit with her.  We planned for a year to attend her 90th birthday party in Utah on December 19th.  On Monday December 14th, she fell ill unexpectedly.  We arrived late the 18th, drove to Logan the am of 19th to say our goodbyes.  Then we went ahead with the party.  She had over 73 guests show up (she was in the hospital--we partied at the church) and only one guest was not related to her.  All hers and all loved.  If she had died by noon on Thursday, the party would have become a funeral, but she lived...because as my mother aptly pointed out Mormons are good prayers and keeping people alive.
The Grandma died three days later.

She was my best friend in my husband's family. I will miss that piece most about her. We lived with her for 4 1/2 years as newlyweds and until our first baby was three.  I learned so much from her:

how to make ribs with soda, enjoy KFC for any great gathering--especially some cole slaw, what a whitened seplicher from the scriptures is, the value of wind up toys, always have a candy stash of malted milk balls, buy treats for those who would love them just because, soft stuffed animals are best, have a sweater handy, sometimes you should just stop and watch tv, you can listen to conference and do something else while you do it, feed stray animals, let people live with you with no expectations, love someone you are not related to like you are, tell a great story, call the Prophets Billy Goat and Gordon, keep old letters and photos (but mark them on the back), share a great kid's book, keep a current recommend even if you can't use it, try to do your hair everyday, wear lipstick, match your handbag to your outfit, carry $50 in your purse just in case, remember when people you know used to be nicer, buy flowers even if they never make it to the ground, have Creamies on hand, call everyone Lovey with the perfect British accent

Four generation:  The Grandma, Mr. Fun, Big Daddy Nels and Seth

Would you like to read about some of her coolness? 
Mabel Joyce Bleakley Anderson, 90, passed away Dec. 22, 2009, in Logan, Utah. Joyce was born in Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) on Dec. 19, 1919, to James and Jane Bleakley. Her father worked in the British Civil Service as a professor of math and physics.

Joyce grew up on the island of Ceylon and moved to London in 1937 to attend university. She was granted degrees in Elocution and Pianoforte Performance from the Trinity College of Music in London. She was a gifted Indian dancer who was the first woman to perform the traditionally Kandian dances in the Ceylonese province of Kandi. During World War II, her Indian dance troupe performed in the West End theatre district of London.

A convert to the LDS church at the age of 19, Joyce met Wendell Bryan Anderson at the London mission home. Joyce and Wendell were married April 3, 1944, in London where Wendell was serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps. After the war, the couple returned to Logan, Wendell's hometown, where Joyce has lived for 62 years.

Joyce was an accomplished pianist, a gifted artist, a published poet and a masterful storyteller. She loved her roses and supported Wendell in his gladiolus. She loved literature and consumed current events and international news. She embraced the pioneer culture, learning to irrigate, can, sew and cook.

Recognizing a need, Joyce started a Cub Scout pack and recruited Wendell as the Cubmaster. She served as Den Mother for 10 years of Den No. 3. Her Cubs were the first Eagle Scouts of the Logan 13th Ward Troop 70. She also worked as a Brownie leader. An active member of the LDS Church, Joyce worked in the Primary and Relief Society. She participated in local party politics.

Despite all her personal accomplishments, her greatest gift was the guidance, teaching and love she provided her children and grandchildren.

I love you, The Grandma.  I will miss you.