Yesterday, my grandmother, Dorothy Burns, passed away. She was a wife, mother, grandmother, elder’s wife, church volunteer, and encourager. She had a good, long life of 90 years, and she has now reached her eternal reward. It is a little sad for those of us left here behind, but it is very happy for her.
Speaking as a grandchild, she definitely loved her grandchildren. She and my grandfather (who passed away in 1993) enjoyed taking us grandchildren on trips, which included an annual visit to Walt Disney World each year from 1984 through 1989. We would go in their motor home and camp at the Fort Wilderness Campground at Walt Disney World. I think they enjoyed being there and riding the rides as much as we did, too. They also took us to such places as Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1983, and to Washington, D.C., for July 4, 1988. They also went on other trips, including a camping trip to Mexico, a camping trip to the northwestern United States and into Canada, and a trip to Germany that did not involve driving their camper there, obviously.
The photo above is one of my favorites from our last trip to Walt Disney World together in 1989. This was just after Disney-MGM Studios opened, and we were taking a moment to rest in front of the Chinese Theater, and I grabbed a quick photo of the two of them there together. Good times.
When we were younger, my sister and I occasionally spent the night at their house when our parents had something else going on. If it was Friday night, we could count on watching The Dukes of Hazzard and Dallas. And if it was Saturday night, it was The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. And no matter what we were watching, we could always count on a big bowl of freshly popped popcorn. That was back in the days before you could just throw a bag of popcorn in the microwave, by the way.
When we were in high school, she and my grandfather were always there at our band concerts. However, she always wanted to get there right when the concert was starting, so that she would miss hearing the band warm up. She didn’t like all that “noise” when everyone was playing something different. She would ask, “Can’t you just not do that?”
In more recent years when she was in her 80s, she enjoyed learning to use a computer for things like emailing family members, creating birthday cards, and even online shopping. Don’t tell her older people didn’t know how to use a computer, because she used one every day.
Her lack of technical computer knowledge never stopped her from using her computer, but it did create some humorous moments sometimes. Every now and then, I would go over to her house to try to help fix some computer problem that she was having. One time, she told me on the phone before I went over there, “I think the top part is fine, but I think the problem is in the bottom part.” I didn’t have any idea what she meant. Once I got there, she said again, “I think the top part is just fine,” and pointed at the monitor. “I think bottom part isn’t working right, though,” and she pointed at the computer case. “Yes,” I assured her, “the problem definitely is in the bottom part.”
Over the last few years, she developed a great love of Facebook, checking it several times a day to see what her extended family, church family, and friends were up to. She would “like” just about everything I would post on there, and it was always nice to know that she was interested in what we were doing.
And once Jaylin came along, she took him in just like all of her other grandchildren and great-grandchildren (and she even had a couple of great-great-grandchildren, by the way). Even before he was “officially” part of our family, he was a part of her family. There was no distinction between him and others who were naturally born into the family. And she treated Laura the same way, too.
So kids, be sure to spend time with your grandparents as much as you can. Go on trips with them if you can. Looking back now, I’m definitely glad I did.
Remember the days of old; consider the years long past. Ask your father, and he will tell you, your elders, and they will teach you. - Deuteronomy 32:7