Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Farewell Grandma

Merrilee's grandmother. Alma Ellen Miller, passed away early Wednesday morning, after suffering a massive stroke over the weekend. She was 84.

Merrilee and Nana Miller

A product of her generation, Alma didn't at first understand our desire to adopt -- especially from China. But the moment she saw Merrilee, all her apprehension disappeared.

In every phone call, she would ask about Merrilee. "How's squirt?" or "How's stinkpot?" she would say.

The last time Merrilee saw her, Merrilee climbed up and sat on the sofa with her and helped her fold clothes. Nana was going blind and often read with a flashlight. It was one of Merrilee's favorite toys when she went to visit Nana.

Our journey to Merrilee took almost four years. All during that time, we were concerned that Nana wouldn't live long enough to meet her newest granddaughter. Not only were we lucky enough that she got to meet her, but they had about seven-and-a-half months of getting to know each other. And they clearly liked each other!

For Christmas, Nana insisted on giving Merrilee a Raggedy Ann doll. Every little girl should have one, she said. We know now it will be a treasured keepsake.

On Tuesday night, when we were saying our goodbyes to Nana, Merrilee had already gone home to sleep. Nana's only great grandson, Jordan, wanted some alone time with Nana. He stood next to Nana's bed and told her, "I love you Nana." And then he told her, "Merrilee loves you Nana." And then, he sang her a little Elvis -- a verse of "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You."

Merrilee and Jordan

Merrilee will likely never remember much about her grandmother, but we hope that everyone who knew Alma will tell Merrilee stories and share memories. Through you, and through the way we will raise her, we hope she will realize what were the best traits about her grandmother.

Farewell Nana. Can you hear the angels singing in your new home?


The Stig said...


Karen said...

Wishing you comforting memories and peace in your heart. So glad Nana shared the joy that is Merrilee.

Karen, Dave and Olivia

Christina said...

Beth and Mark,

I rediscovered your Christmas card today and finally logged in to your blog and was so sad to learn that your mother had passed away. Our thoughts and prayers are with you right now.

We had a similar situation with Katherine's great grandmother (her Dedike -in Hungarian). We continue to share stories and photos of them together. Just this morning while we were waiting for the bus, Katherine mentioned that Dedike is in heaven singing with the angels. Although they won't remember the times they spent together with their grandmothers, our children will always know how much they were loved.

We love you lots!

Christina, Katherine and family