Yesterday evening my grandmother passed away. She died in her own home and on her terms, with only her oldest daughter present. She was ready to go and her passing was peaceful. When I think of my grandmother there is one word that seems to exemplify who she was and why she was so special – strength. Helen Marian Gage Johnson had strength of will, character, mind, body and heart.
|Marian with sisters around 1932 (Elaine, Norma & Pauline in front (L-R)|
|Marian with Orland & Bernard in 1929 - going to school.|
|Marian Gage & Frank Johnson - Married 1939|
Grandma Marian showed her strengths in many ways during her life. She was extremely intelligent and one of the best students in any school she went to. Just a few months ago, could still rattle off several generations of British Kings and Queens. What was even more endearing is when she and her brother would bicker over some teacher or event from their childhood. I think Grandma required these spirited discussions with her older brother as they mirrored their lifetime together as siblings. She loved her parents dearly, but she and her father clashed on several occasions. Both were strong willed people and sometimes they didn’t always agree. It is ironic that she dies on the same day as her father, 21 years after his death. Throughout Grandma’s long life, she worked hard. She worked hard as a wife and mother by preparing her families food and clothing and taking care of their needs and working alongside her husband on their farm with no complaint. She worked the long hours as a cook and later in a chicken plant and ending her working life in a tool factory. Just before she moved to Lewiston in 2001, she took up the computer as a hobby. Grandma wasn’t one to be idle very long – so she began scanning and printing her mother’s pictures and making albums for her children and grandchildren.
It is a testament to the remarkable person that she was – that wherever she went, she made lifelong friends. My faith tells me that she is in a better place and with loved ones that she has lost. We will miss her stubborn unquenchable spirit and loving caring. Grandma until we meet again – We love you and miss you!