Monday, June 27, 2011

The Legacy of Ella Marie

My grandmother, Ella Marie Munn, was a wonderful amazing woman. To me as a child she was everything I ever wanted to be, and now, she still is. She lived as a migrant farm worker for most of her youth. Without all the things I now have everyday, she worked until her fingers were tired and aching, without a home to call her own. I only ever knew her as this earthy, free spirit who cultivated her own gardens, flowers, and cactus. Her honeysuckles were sweeter than anything I have smelled since. Her carrots in her garden provided me with keen eyesight so I wouldn't need glasses like my mom and dad, which I still do not. I have 20/20 thank you. Her driveway an endless parade of me on my Care Bear roller skates showing her what i could do. She would melt all her soap remnants down to one. Waste not, want not. Her hens and chicks (cactus) sat eagerly at her front porch reminding me of the time I had forgotten about their unfriendly nature and fell on them. If it was a good behavior day I knew I could look forward to an Oreo out of that gorgeous green depression glass cookie jar. I still have one of her quilts that fills me with love every time I fell its smooth fabric against my skin. She had style and grace and an elegance I have never met except for her. She had countless amounts of costume jewelry hanging around her vanity. Always ready and fashionable even for unfashionable moments like taking me to the park and to ice cream. I am sure many women feel today the way I do about their grandmother, as though she were a saint sent from heaven itself to inspire and nurture in a magical way no one else could. Mine wrote stories and took creative writing classes well into her last years. She was involved in many causes and political events held in her area. Always willing to give a strong opinion. Never to cower or acquiesce. She was a great reader of literature and my first novel Love Story came from her collection. At high school in Oklahoma she met a young schoolmate who took a liking to her right away. She made up for many years she was unable to attend school ,to work in the farms,very quickly and graduated on time for her age. Her senior year that young man asked for her hand every day that year. A few months after graduating she finally one day said "Yes." My grandfather shortly after joined the army while she held down the home front and raised 3 amazing children that adore her as I do. I lost her when I was only 11 but I am so grateful to have had her in my life for even a moment. When my mom read that I had begun blogging her first reaction after seeing it was " That is so your grandma. She would have done that. It sounds like her." It couldn't have been a bigger compliment. Thank you mom. I know it may seem strange but sometimes you just take everything you are from a few small experiences that really form who you will become. And for that time with her, thanks to my mom, I am so grateful. I hope the free spirit in me shines like a beacon so she can find me anytime, anywhere and know what a fantastic, elegant lady she was and how much it meant to me.

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