October 31, 2010

Grandma Gentry

Edith Madge Brice was born at daybreak Easter morning April 23, 1916. She met her husband Thomas Bryan Gentry in California where she was staying with relatives. They decided to get married & returned to Utah, where they worked together on the homestead. They raised 2 daughters, Louise & Pat, who both married and started families of their own.

Bryan has told me of many excursions to visit his Grandmother in Utah. He always loved that she fed them meat & potatoes. Living on a cattle farm, there was no shortage of steaks & sausage, etc that might be considered more of luxury foods, especially when you're a kid. He always talked about how great of a cook Gram was. It wasn't that his mom was a bad cook, it was more that Gram cooked for EVERY meal & had more time & energy to focus on them when they visited. Bryan's Grandpa Gentry passed away shortly before he left on his mission in 1995, the same day as the Oklahoma City bombing. Gram spent a couple more years sticking it out on the homestead, but she was alone in a rural area with declining health. She eventually moved to AZ to be closer to her younger daughter (Bryan's mom) and her family.

I met Edith for the first time, probably a little before Bryan came home from his mission. We took to each other immediately & she was convinced that I WOULD be her Granddaughter-in-law. She had the funniest sense of humor, but the quickest wit at the same time. She could mix that little bit of sarcasm in & still sound polite & sweet. I guess I really liked her, because when I get older, I hoped I'd have a 1/4 of her energy & even a tiny bit of her personality.

"Grandma 2" as she was known to her great-grandkids, was always smiling & willing to lend a helping hand if she could. She drove her own car for a long time, probably until she was 91? She could drive from her trailer in her retirement park to her daughter's (Pat) home around the corner, and even down the road 4 miles to the school, where Pat works. On longer voyages, she would let someone drive for her so she wouldn't get flustered or lost.

She frequently had visits from friends, and spent time reading and writing letters. Edith made some amazing quilts in her day & loved doing things for others. She was very independent & strong-willed. I think that one of the reasons, she has been with us so long is the fear that we can't get along without her.

But such as everything...Life comes to an end. Mortal life comes to an end. Edith was not a member of my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I am comforted through my beliefs. I know that we can be with Gram again. She is no longer in pain or the mental/emotional turmoil that she has been in for the last several months. Unfortunately, people are imperfect & sometimes impact the spiritual growth of others. I know that the Gospel IS perfect. When Gram has the opportunity to hear the perfect message without hindrance, she will accept the Gospel in it's fullness. I am thankful for the ordinances of the Temple & the promises of Eternal Families. We will miss seeing Grandma Gentry when we visit, but I know that we will see her again.

I am thankful for the Gospel & for the chance to have an Eternal Family.

2 comments:

normal mom said...

That's a beautiful tribute, Kim.

Jess said...

What an incredible example of strength & vitality. I can see why you admire her. She will be missed but the beauty of the plan of happiness is that you WILL see her again. What a beautiful testimony you have Kimmie. Love you & sending love & prayers to you guys & all of Bryan's family.