Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Grandma Ginny

Virginia Tanner Chamberlain, was an extraordinary woman, who lived a seemingly ordinary life. Ordinary to most, but not to her family. Widowed at age 44, just a few months before my birth, she finally is reunited with Grandpa Arch.

Though she was a widow for over half of her life she was never lonely. Her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren wrapped their love around her for over 45 years as we visited her each Sunday. These visits became such a ritual and tradition that Sunday evenings seem unfamiliar these days. Few have the privilege to be blessed with a close relationship with a grandmother and great grandmother as we have had. Such a rare blessing.

Yet as I reflect on the flood of memories, I consider the greatest legacy Grandma Ginny left me: family is everything. From family can only true joy and happiness come. She was a happy, witty, and energetic woman, yet her happiness did not come from a spacious home, a nice car, nor exotic vacations - for she had none of these. It all came from family. And the beauty of it is that it cost nothing - to her nor to us. The greatest blessing and satisfaction in life is actual free - it is actual right around us - our family.

So, Grandma, as I seek for true happiness in life, I promise to follow your legacy and seek it in those God has chosen to be my family. I will carry on your legacy and never let the world get in the way of family. I will fight for the blessing to be with parents, children, cousins, aunts, uncles and future grandchildren. Thank you for the joys and memories that I have experienced these past 45 plus years, and for the legacy of family that I will pass on to future generations.

Back in 2002 I wrote a song in honor of Grandma. I now have added a final verse:

Where We Belong

For generations to this home we're drawn

Led by spirits long past

Finding warmth of friendships that last

This place is where we belong

We've worked and played on this blanket of lawn

Explored every inch of the yard

Our imaginations carried us far

In this home where we belong

New faces come, time passes along

But constant is the place

Where families gather and celebrate

At Grandma’s, where we belong

What lures us here to this simple home

Where love and kinship abide?

Her heart speaks the reason why

With Grandma is where we belong

She’s journeyed on, to a place so longed

Where loved ones she now greets

A celebration, joyous and sweet

Grandma’s now, where she belongs

We now long for a heav’nly home

The place where she now abides

Once again we’ll be by her side

With Grandma, where we belong

Once again we’ll be by her side

With Grandma, where we belong

For more pictures of Grandma Ginny see:


amanda said...

I forgot about that song. It's so good. Looking back on my favorite parts of my life, Sunday at Grandma Ginny's with the family were some of the very best.

You should look at my blog; I wrote a list of memories that stick out the most to me about Grandma.

Jessica said...

Amen. I will miss Grandma lots. She embraced me and made me part of the family the fist time I met her, and she really became my Grandma too.

Lindsay said...

What a beautiful song. I'm sorry to hear of her passing.

David and Brooke Gallagher said...

Hi Paul this is Brooke Donaven sis, I really enjoyed that, what sweet words!