Grandma’s Legacy and Acts of Love – Happy Holidays
December 24, 2012 Leave a comment
These Christmas ornaments are my treasures. For over twenty years, Dode Jandric, my grandma, made at least one for each of her 23 grandchildren and no two adornments are alike.
In earlier days of her ceramic ornament painting, Grandma Dode had the dexterity to write messages, bible verses, our names, her signature and the year each one was made. As time went on, macular degeneration set in, her vision deteriorated and she became unable to continue.
I once heard Oprah Winfrey say that art can be a form of prayer and I think that is an interesting concept. The thing I love and appreciate most about the legacy of grandma’s ornaments is time and creativity she spent paying attention to detail, expressing her faith and love through art. She selected specific colors, styles and designs customized for each of us, painted them, then fired them up in the kiln so they were just right.
As I reflect on the holiday season and my family, I am proud to say I am a 4th generation of oldest daughters. Grandma Dode was born on April 8, 1921 and had 9 children, which is almost seven years of being pregnant. Sometimes it is hard for me to fathom that by the time my mother was 14 years old, she had 8 younger brothers and sisters, all of whom she nurtured and cared for because that was part of the norm.
Grandma Dode, now 91 and legally blind, her hearing and memory fading, yet her demeanor is sweet and gentle.
During our family Christmas party last year, I watched her place both of her hands on the cheeks of one great-grandchild. She said in a thoughtful, kind manner; “I’m sorry dear, I can get a little confused, you will have to remind your name and whose you are.” Then after a response she followed up with; “Oh yes, of course that’s right. So how old are you now?” It makes me wonder; can we choose to age with grace if we think about it in advance? My family history is rich and filled with love and legacy. For that I am grateful.
May you have a holiday filled with peace, happiness and joy.