we love you, grandma!

My grandma is dying. And I really don’t want to go there yet. I love her like crazy, and I’m not looking forward to the day when she’s no longer here on this earth. So I’m saving my grieving, and I’m going to reflect back on all the happy.

I’m really super blessed to have such an amazing extended family. We have a “secret” group on Facebook, and we’ve been reminiscing about our favorite memories of Grandma and Grandpa the past couple days.

But I want to extend the remembering to people who aren’t Grandma’s kin, because I know there are a lot of you who have a sweet memory or 12 of Joan (pronounced Jo-Ann) Yoder, or as she liked to refer to herself, Mrs. Harold J.

Here’s a pic of Grandma at her surprise 90th b-day party last February. More fun pics of the Birthday Girl here. This is what I wrote toward the end of that post: If I had my way, I’d get a million more pictures like this one over the next 5, 10, 20 years, but when you’re 10 years shy of 100, there’s no guarantee. And you and I both know there’s no guarantee for anyone ever. Take lots of pictures, friends. You’ll be so glad you did.

And here are some pics from the Annual Yoder Family Get-Together last summer. I love this one of my cousin Camy and Grandma. Grandma is just one of those people you can’t kiss good-bye without holding her face. At least Camy and I can’t.

Here’s what I wrote at the end of that post: It’s always tough to see her go, because I can’t help but wonder if it’ll be the last get-together she comes to. Here’s praying she makes it to 10 more.

I love this pic of Dad and his mama. (October 3, 2011) Each of her 7 kiddos love their mom so, so much. And the feeling is mutual. And she loves each of their spouses too. And they love her right back.

I love this pic I snapped of her when she was just sitting in her chair in the nursing home, basking in the glory of being surrounded by her descendants.

I know I’ll have lots to say about sweet, beautiful Grandma in the days, weeks, and months to come. 91 years is a lot of living, and she lived it well.

If you have a memory of my grandma or a message you’d like to share with her, I’m hoping to visit her again tomorrow, and I’ll print out as many as I can to read to her and the rest of the family. Thank you!!

13 thoughts on “we love you, grandma!

  1. Jane McGinnis

    I remember meeting your grandma many years ago and she is such a lovely, dear woman. I did not know her well, but always felt loved whenever I saw her. Such a special lady. My grandma was 101 when she joined her Savior in heaven. Miss her greatly.

  2. Maxine Robison

    Joan Yoder has been a loving inspiration to me. It pleases me knowing my son, Rod, is blessed to be a member of the Yoder family. Joan and I corresponded by mail at earlier times. My “Yoder file” contains an interesting letter from Joan – dated March 21, 2002. In it she states “by midsummer our family will number 58 people-nine will be great-grandchildren” Now the number is 100!! Love to all of the Yoders, especially my sweet daughter-in -law, Jeannie.

    1. Marla Taviano

      Awww… thanks for sharing that, Grandma Maxine! One of my favorite things about Grandma is how much she loves her kids’ in-laws. You were one of her very favorites, I know. And man, those Yoders have been multiplying like rabbits. 😉

  3. Lisa

    I remember walking into the old farmhouse and she ALWAYS offered us stuff to eat! I also remember the dairy cow barn tours, but my favorite part was hanging out in the country kitchen and smelling the wonderful concoctions she would bake up! And that lovely smile that always graced her face….

  4. Leica McGill

    Marla, We are so sorry for the sense of loss your family must be feeling. However, I am sure it will be a celebration for her as she arrives in heaven to be with her Lord! My memory of your grandma is from about a year ago. Mike and Pat McGill, Allen and I stopped in one Sunday evening to visit a couple of senior saints that reside at Green Hills. We went to her room and they told us she was out in the dining room. She was finishing up her supper and visiting. We had a good time reminiscing about her childhood and her precious family. Last night in the prayer bulletin Pastor Josh wrote that she was not doing well but that she still had joy in her eyes! That is what I remember about your grandma. Whenever I saw her she was radiating the joy she had in her life. That joy that shined because she reflected the Son! She is a beautiful person. She will be greatly missed! Our prayers are with your family.
    Allen & Leica McGill

  5. Kelsie

    Marla, I could just burst into tears. Brings back sweet memories of my amazing great grandmother who lived into her 90s as well. I miss her. And I appreciate the one grandma I have left…It’s so painfully obvious how much your grandma means to you. My prayer is that your visit tomorrow is significantly and eternally special.
    P.S. – Okay, here come the tears…I feel for ya!

  6. Marla C

    I don’t know your grandmother, but every time I’ve read your posts about her, I’ve remembered mine…usually with sweet tears. 🙂 Today’s post made me think of our last few days with my granddad, who, at age 91, got sick and died fairly suddenly about a year and a half ago. I was blogging at the time (I’ve put it on hold for a while since then), and I posted a poem he had written many years earlier…I’m sharing it…I love his perspective, and I imagine from your posts and pictures that your grandmother’s perspective is much the same.


    Favorite line: “for God, who led my whole life through, knew what for me was best.” Praying for you that these days are full of sweet memories and lovely moments, even in the pain.

  7. Jen Hanson

    I love Grandma’s wit, her playful spirit and the twinkle in her eye.

    I love that she loves so well. For someone with SO many children (plus their spouses), SO many grand children (plus their spouse) and SO many great-grand kids to love (and she loves us all well!), you’d think she’d be all out just loving on her family. Yet (as I’m sure the comments of this post will show) she still has love to shower on hundreds of people who are not related to her. Amazing.

  8. Laura Eckstein

    Joan was one of the first people to greet us at church when we first attended. She smiled and I knew I would love her! What an amazing mother she was to be blessed with such an awesome family! You will have so many memories to bring smiles in the next days! Love to Joan and to all of your family!

  9. janelle

    Grandma Joan…..I want to thank you for being a woman who truly loves JESUS CHRIST….by loving Him so much, your children love Him, and your grandchildren love Him…thank you for giving them JESUS CHRIST…I am praying for you, Gabe’s Mom
    Pretty neat that your daughter in law – Chris, loves you so deeply….It says how easy you are to love !

  10. Susan Shay

    What a beautiful tribute to your grandma. Enjoy her as long as you have her, and look forward to the day she’ll be in your cloud of witnesses.
    That, too, is a blessing.
    Thank you for sharing. I miss mine so much!

  11. Sharon

    I adore the picture of your grandma on her 90th birthday. I have a similar one of my grandma (also my Dad’s mom). Praying for your family during this hard journey.

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