Friday, March 27, 2015

Helen Campbell

My great-grandmother will be buried today and even though I can't make it to Oregon to commemorate her life, my thoughts are full of her. I was asked if I had any stories to share. I don't really. Not the traditional kind of story with rising action, a climax, and a resolution. More like a string of memories: of watching her bustle around the kitchen, and then as she got older, sitting by her on the couch while the rest of us did the bustling; of crouching next to her china hutch and listening to her tell about all the places she's seen. Grandma Campbell was a traveler and each item had a story.
My favorite memory happened on our last visit. Robb, Colby, and I came to Medford for the wedding of a wonderful friend and then stayed a bit longer for some family time. Grandma and Grandpa Rigby took my parents for the night and my little family bunked down at Grandma Campbell's (their houses are on connecting pieces of property).  She came up for the weekend from her nursing home after a serious hip injury and I was in constant dread that she'd hurt herself again. Grandma Rigby had everything ready, but my sweet great-grandmother had to be sure. So she wandered around the house, pulling out extra blankets and double checking soap and towels, while I followed a few nervous steps behind her. She was the ultimate host.

I am grateful for the lessons she taught my grandmother, who then passed them on to my dad, who taught them to me. Until we meet again, Grandma.

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