She was a head tossed back laughing. She was beautiful blue eyes with a mischievous twinkle. She was playing the organ and singing old hymns. She was rolling dough to make homemade noodles. She was getting chased by headless chickens but having the last laugh when she’d fry them up extra crispy.
She was always on the go. On a lawn-mower, a 4-wheeler, an old pick-up truck. She didn’t quit. She worked hard on the farm for everything she had. She was always after “just one more load of sweet corn”. She was always early, never late. She was a power walker for miles and miles.
She was a social butterfly. Card club, women’s circle, church choir. She was serving others. She loved a good practical joke between friends. She was dancing to polkas and the Chicken Dance. She was happy and full of life. A burst of positive energy.
She was Norwegian but she married a German. She was devoted to her family. She was taking care of her grands and her greats. She was bouncing a baby until they fell asleep. She was singing “A Bushel and a Peck” and “Tootsie Wootsie Chewing Gum”. She was merciful when she could have been strict. She was blaming “Who-dee” for the shenanigans her grandkids and great-grandkids pulled.
She was there with a hug when I got off the bus from school. She was tickling my back while she rocked me to sleep. She was a maker of my afternoon snack. The stirrer of my vanilla ice cream drizzled with Hershey’s syrup.
She was strong because she found her strength in Lord.
She was my great-grandma. Your great-great grandma. We named you for her.
She was a celebrator of life, a lover of traditions, and a bit sentimental. She was decorating the house for every holiday. She was putting streamers and balloons over her boys’ doors on their birthdays. She was a master cake decorator. She was an always full cookie jar. She had the Christmas spirit. Adding on to ornament collections and decking the halls. She was making Cornish hens, spritz cookies, and rosettes. She was a keeper of Swedish family recipes.
She was hospitality and home-made gifts. Crocheting, cross-stitch, embroidery…She was always making things memorable. She was a shutterbug and a homemade scrapbooker. She was a thoughtful letter writer. Full of Scripture and encouragement. She was strong in the Lord. She was a caring and compassionate nurse. She was there to help when anyone needed her.
She was a morning person, a bit of a neat freak, and strong-willed. She was reading her newspaper in her LazyBoy. She was a technicolor bathrobe and lover of bubble baths.
She was creative and imaginative. She was a singer of silly songs. She was a lover of music. An off-key singer, but a master page-turner. She was a punny joke teller and a ruined punchline. She was even a bit of a mischievous prankster.
She was a connector of people. A warm smile and an engaging laugh. She was cherishing family time. She was planning events to bring everyone together. She was a lifelong friend to many.
She was a loving wife and mother. She was hanging out in the driveway with her “Lawnchair Club” while her boys rode their bikes. She was singing her made-up “Brothers” song whenever her boys started to fight. She was planning a family road trip every summer and a ski trip every winter. She was sneaking into their rooms to kiss her boys goodbye before she went to work.
According to your Uncle Dan, “She was joy and comfort and home”.
She was your daddy’s mom. The grandma you’ve never met. But someday, you will. We named you for her.
To Millie LeAnne
Yes, we named you after two amazing women. But, I’ll never tell you that you have big shoes to fill. God made you unique. One of a kind and so special. You don’t have to be them.
Still, we all have choices to make about the kind of person we want to be when we grow-up. I’m hoping that when you think about who you want to be, maybe you’ll choose to be a bit like them.
A woman who loves her family and spends time pouring into their lives. A memory maker. A woman who puts others before herself. Who isn’t afraid to dance and sing and love life. A woman who chooses to laugh. Who doesn’t need to fear death because she has the hope of heaven. A woman of faith who loves Jesus and serves the Lord.
Millie LeAnne, you be who God made you to be. But when you need a role model or inspiration, look to your namesakes and their legacy. We love you and are proud of you already.
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”
Karen LenzAugust 31, 2017 at 5:22 pm
Shannon, this was so beautiful to read. I am so immensely thankful for LeAnne, even though I never got to meet her on this earth. I could not finish reading this without crying. Welcome to the world, Millie LeAnne! I can’t wait to meet you.
Shannon LenzSeptember 20, 2017 at 2:05 pm
Thank you, Karen! We can’t wait for her to meet you either! Will we see you at Christmas?
Shannon LenzSeptember 20, 2017 at 2:06 pm
We have LeAnne (and of course, Dave!) to thank for raising pretty amazing men. I’m thankful for her, too. 🙂
Gretchen GarrisonAugust 12, 2018 at 9:30 pm
What a beautiful gift of a post for your daughter!