Yesterday afternoon Lyn and I got word that her 99 year-old grandmother, Pearl Daymond Holmes, went home to be with her Lord. Interestingly, Kristi and Haley were with us at the time the call came. (We were on the way to see the new Dr. Seuss movie, Horton Hears the Who.) In our car rolling down Harbor Boulevard was Pearl's granddaughter, her great-granddaughter, and her great-great-granddaughter.
Grandma Holmes was a wonderful, vibrant woman. I always enjoyed hearing the stories Lyn told about the times she'd spent with her on vacations when she was a girl: the walks they took together; the games they played; the shopping they did; the snacks they ate.
Pearl was a hard-working woman who knew and respected the value of a dollar. She had a great sense of thrift as well as a great sense of humor. She loved books. She loved her cat Dinah. She loved walking around the lakes of Lakeland. She loved shopping. She loved her family. She loved her Lord.
One thing I always appreciated about Grandma Holmes was the way she welcomed me to the family. I never felt the least bit like an outsider with her. I always felt a connection to her--partly because she and my mother shared the name Pearl. (It was Mom's middle name.) She and I seemed to hit it off from the beginning, and it was such a sad thing for me to see her health begin to fail about 12 years ago.
She had a love-hate relationship with the camera--especially the video camera. I have attached some very grainy video clips of Grandma Holmes to this post. (I sat in our family room at 3:30 this morning, aiming our digital camera at the TV while an 18 year old video tape played on the screen. THEN, I loaded the clips to my computer and compressed the dickens out of them in order to put them on the web. So please forgive the 3rd generation "ickiness" of the video/audio quality.) Anyway, Pearl gave the impression that she NEVER wanted to be photographed or filmed, but when a camera was pointed her direction, her antennae were always up and she'd slip into a subtle pose mode. She'd feign annoyance, but I know she really enjoyed it.
The first video is even WORSE in quality, because it was the family sitting around WATCHING a video of Grandma "performing" in her kitchen. I couldn't find the original version. (Wamp wamp) I call the clip "A Star Is Born!" She was lecturing me about the positives of bananas--the one fruit I truly hate. She was also giving me tips on finding good deals on bananas at the local Publix grocery store. You probably won't understand a word she says, but you can get a sense of her pre-Food Network savvy.
The second video was taken at Christmas around 1990. You can get a feeling for what Grandma was like when she was in her prime.
Even though we've known the day of her departure was quickly approaching, it's still sad to think that she's no longer among us.
Haley was so sweet today as she tried to comfort Lyn in the car. She told her that one of these days she'd get to be in heaven with her Grandma and she could hug her and kiss her and spend lots of time with her again. Bright little girl! (In the words of Horton, "A person's a person, no matter how small!")
And she's absolutely right.