A TRIBUTE TO MY GRAM
ETHEL MAE BROOKS
I was raised by my Gram...from age 2 to 12 years, when she was taken from us by a devastating stroke. It was like losing my parent. My Gram was widowed at an early age, and my being the eldest grandchild, my Father felt her raising me would give her a purpose in life, and an added income. I was an only child with both parents working, so it seemed the perfect solution. I adored Gram and she doted on me. She was of a different religion, but she saw to it that I was given a good religious background in my Mother's faith. She studied with me, though now I know, it must have been hard for her...not really understanding what she was teaching me. Nevertheless, she saw me through the early years and sat in my church as I received the sacraments. I never realized what this meant...until she was gone.
Gram was a quiet, gentle woman who never drove a car, and was a true 'homemaker'. I'd give anything for a piece of her famous white cake with banana filling! I have tried to duplicate it many times...with no success. She and my Grampa raised 2 sons and 2 daughters.
She died at age 54... joining her beloved Joseph, who passed away eight years earlier.
I have tried to pattern my life following her teachings. I love being a Gram to my six grands. I baby sat them when they were little...every chance I got! I studied with them all through school...helping with book reports and term papers. (We always got great marks) "S" I counseled them when they came up against obstacles, either large or small. It didn't matter...to them, every event was important.
I faced the traumatic birth of my youngest granddaughter Ashlee, at 1 lb. 4 oz. and 15 weeks early. Those 101 days in NICU were a learning experience and a test of my faith. I wrote a journal of every day of the first year of her life... THROUGH GRAMMA'S EYES. She is and continues to be our Miracle Baby.
My faith was further tested when my beloved 16 year old granddaughter Melissa, passed away during an asthma attack. She was the JOY of my life, for we had a tremendous bond, strengthened by my baby sitting her for 2 years. Dealing with my grief, I wrote another book...ANGEL'S TOUCH... a book of 48 poems and letters honoring her memory.
I held my 23 year old grandson Chad...as he faced the sudden passing of his beloved fiance Felicia this past year.
This past month, I was again tested...for I lost my first great grandchild to a miscarriage. I held another grandson Jason while his heart was breaking too. My family was SO excited and looking forward to this new baby.
This brings me full circle...as I've lost a daughter, a granddaughter, and now a great grandchild.
I give credit to Our Heavenly Father for giving me the strength and courage to face these obstacles and survive them. I also give credit to that precious lady who left me so many years ago...My Gram... for instilling in me the faith and the wisdom to be the person I am today. A Mom and a Gram that my family can be proud of, and one they can come to with any problem...no matter how old they are...or how big they grow...for my arms are always open for a hug, and my heart is always full of love for them. As a family, we can face ANYTHING...together.
THANKS GRAM, for being my role model!
My Dad, Me, Mom & Gram!
This Midi is "Grandma's Feather Bed"
October 2, 2004