My dear Grandmother died today, June 12, 2009. She is no longer suffering, but with the Lord that she loved. Although I never lived close to her, I will miss her. Once a year visits (when I was a child), cards, letters and conversations on the phone were all so special to me.
Grandma was born Helen Aileen Stamp, October 21, 1917 in Illinois. She later changed her name to Eileen and dropped the middle name. She lived on a farm with her mom, dad, 3 older step-brothers (from her mom’s first marriage, which ended when her husband died of pneumonia), 1 older brother, a younger sister and younger twin brothers. She told me stories of riding to school on a horse (4 children on 1 horse!). It was a one room school house. When they got to school, the horse would return home and the kids would have to walk home.
Their family later moved to Pennsylvania. Grandma’s mother, Sarah, had many health problems and some problems were exacerbated when her oldest son, James, died in a coal mining accident. Grandma’s father ran a gas station. Grandma once told me that she had to quit school to take care of her mom, who continued to suffer from declining health. She regretted having to quit school. However, this shows what kind of person my Grandma was…she put other people first.
She met my Grandfather and fell in love. He was very handsome with thick, wavy hair and deep blue eyes. They married and had 3 children. My Grandfather was a steel worker (he died Feb 1997) and my Grandmother stayed home and raised the children. Grandma told me that one of the best days of her life was when she had my mother (Linda). She already had one daughter (Patty) and was so thrilled to have her two little girls. 5 years after my mom, she had her son, Tom. Grandma loved to work outside in her garden and yard. She didn’t have an easy life, as my Grandfather suffered from depression and was an alcoholic. She stayed with him (through many very hard times) and (according to my mom) always treated him very good.
My mom, sister and I would fly out to see Grandma and Grandpa every May, after school let out. We would stay for 2 weeks. I loved their green, hilly yard ringed with gorgeous peony bushes. We had fun playing with cousins, going out to eat, to parks, church and on small road trips. Grandma always had neat gifts for Cherrie and I. The last time I saw her was in 2004 at my cousin’s wedding in Florida. She looked great, seemed to never age.
Grandma took care of her husband when he was going through Parkinson’s disease. She took care of her brother and sister-in-law through their illnesses and helped with the care of another brother. She was a caring, loving person.
Grandma loved God and was a faithful prayer warrior. You could always count on Grandma to pray for you. She attended church every week and had lots of friends. She had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to laugh (my sister and I were reminiscing about her contagious laugh). She loved board games…yahtzee, scrabble and loved crossword puzzles. She was very stylish and liked to shop for clothes. She could crochet beautiful afghans.
I am so thankful that I know exactly where Grandma is. She is free from pain, fear, hunger, worry and all other things that come as a result of sin. Jesus was her Lord and Savior and she is enjoying heavenly bliss.
Eileen Sarver October 21, 1917-June 12, 2009