I remember her sitting by the window in her rocking chair with the fan swaying to and fro
I remember her quietly greeting our family as we arrive for another summer vacation in August
I remember her asking how we were doing, and not knowing any other way to answer , I would say “fine”
I remember smelling the dark, rich earth of her garden that she planted faithfully each spring and I would see the results each August
I remember enjoying the bounty of that garden, including green beans, tomatoes and corn on the cob
I remember showering off in her bathroom after spending a day at the Clearwater River
I remember getting to play the piano that was in her living room in the mornings when she was outside working in her garden
I remember attending her 80th birthday when I was 12, and thinking she had lived a long, wonderful life. Who knew she had almost 17 more years to go.
I remember never hearing her raise her voice, or say a swear word.
I remember knowing she was a “no smoking” zone for her children and grandchildren
I remember she was a lady of high standards and principles
I remember I always knew she prayed for me
I remember that other people spoke fondly of my grandmother, just like people do my own mother
I remember thinking she was strong and courageous to have raised her family all by herself
I remember she was kind
I remember she was gentle
I remember she had a good sense of humor
I remember being with Mom and my new baby Molly when we got the phone call that Grandma West had died. It was the same weekend as Molly’s baby dedication. I think having her baby granddaughter there helped Mom through her initial grieving process.
I remember being sad that I couldn’t attend her funeral.
I miss her. I often wish I wasn’t so young when we went to Orofino, so I could have known her better.
But her memory lives on in her children and grandchildren through their baking, sewing, crafting, gardening, praying and their kindness to others.
Nona Walker West
Born December 27, 1894
Died November 24, 1990
Her final gift she left us was her gift of longevity. She was about one month shy of turning 97 years old when she died.
She lived a long, wonderful life.
I just wish I could have shared more of it with her.