Tonight, Trevor and I are preparing for a trip to Texas. The last time we made this trip together, we were newlyweds and it was our first Thanksgiving as a married couple. We drove down to the valley to a little town called Weslaco to spend the holiday with his paternal grandmother. I had never met her because at the time of our wedding, she was sick and unable to make the 7 hour trip, so I was excited about meeting the matriarch of his father's family. His grandfather passed away when he was a child, and Grandma was the one who was a pillar for the six men she called her sons.
I sat at her kitchen table and visited with her, still slightly in awe of this little Czech lady. We talked about quilting, and she showed me a pattern that in the coming months I worked on, hoping to complete the quilt and impress her with my sewing skills. I witnessed the freezer full of homemade kolaches she had on hand to serve to visitors and to send home with family. I walked under the beautiful pecan tree that dominated the backyard, and picked the nuts up off the ground to be shelled later.
Trevor and I were inducted into a very exclusive club on that trip. As the most recently married couple, we had the honor of sleeping in the "pink room", where one of Grandma's prized yo-yo quilts adorned the bed. His parents slept in a large room with Grandma, but we were afforded the privacy of our own room. Apparently this was a tradition that had been going on for many years, and I felt thrilled to be part of a family ritual.
On the trip down, I was introduced to a country store called Prasek's, and the heaven on earth that is their beef jerky. We went across the border to Mexico so we could shop and enjoy our time together. The entire trip was full of firsts for me, and I was made to feel like part of the family.
But this trip is for an entirely different reason as we make our way south one last time to pay our respects to a beautiful soul who lived a long and fulfilling life. She was married to the love of her life, had six sons who went on to provide her with the blessing of daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. When she passed away Friday morning, she left behind many who love her and who will never forget all the things that made her special to us. She was a player of Canasta, a drinker of highballs, and a lover of God. Our lives will not be the same without her, and although she is not with us this Thanksgiving, I'm giving thanks for her all the same.