Thursday, November 27, 2014

Gram Mattered

Lorene Fulp Wall May 13, 1921----November 17, 2014

Last Saturday we celebrated the life of Lorene Fulp Wall, my Mother-in-law. It was a sad time, but somehow a joyous time.

This photo was taken at her ninety (90) birthday celebration. How many of us would like to look like that at ninety? It was difficult for her to let us take care of the celebration because that was always her job.

As a child, the next to youngest of eight children, she was often cared for by older siblings. That roll reversed later in her life as she became the one who looked after them. Each birthday she would have the siblings to her house to celebrate. This included her own birthday. You can see why it was hard for her to let someone else do the job.

The last three years of her life Gram was a victim of Alzheimer's disease.

While Gram lived in a Memory care unit, my brother-in-law, Ed and his wife Janice were her care givers. My sister-in-law, Janice talked about how much Gram taught her during the last three years of Gram's life. Janice spent many hours talking to her about her family, showing her photos and trying to keep her connected. To them we own a special thanks.

Our son, G. Lee reminisced about Gram from the grand children's perspective. Some of his earliest memories are about the times we spent at the Blue Marlin Motel in Atlantic Beach, NC. Gram and Papa owned and operated this Mom & Pop motel. Many years, at Thanksgiving, the motel was opened to family, that included extended family as well. The living quarters were small, the kitchen even smaller. How did she create a Thanksgiving meal for so many people? She was Gram, she could do anything.

Lee talks about the weekends in the Spring when family would visit Gram for the purpose of doing some of the harder yard work. He says, "Being the strong woman and avid Gardner she was, Gram would always insist upon getting her hands dirty. I can assure you that I had put in a backbreaking day of work so as not to be out worked by a Grandma. The key was to wait until she went inside to check on dinner, then work for another 20 minutes or so then I could lay off for the day with a reasonable degree of confidence that my Grandma had not got the better if me."

I've already mentioned Gram's prowess in the kitchen, Gram liked to feed people. You never left her house hungry or empty handed.

Lee says, " my favorite thing about Gram was that I never felt like she judged me, but I cared what she thought about me. I knew she liked, accepted, and loved me for who I am. She treated everyone that way."

"By the way, I think Gram was a very lucky woman, because she was important and needed in this world by so many. To her children, and to her many grandchildren and great grandchildren, Gram mattered. I feel Gram had an amazing, enviable, and long life. I am sure that Gram felt blessed and fulfilled to have mattered so much to so many."

A great tribute to a great woman, she will be missed.

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  1. Thanks for sharing about her. It's always nice to read about special people.

  2. Gram sounds like a very special person. What a loving tribute you gave her.

  3. She sounds like a wonderful person. So sorry for your loss.