Yesterday was my Grandma Lois's birthday! She passed away 11 years ago, shortly after she turned 100, but I still think of her very often, especially every Nov 27th. Although I didn't get to grow up around her, I did get to make some incredible memories when I moved near her during my college years. During that special time living near my Grandma, I learned a lot about a woman and mother who loved her family deeply, who loved her Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ, and who tried her best in everything she did. She was creative and unique, cheerful and energetic, and one of the most fun people to be around! I learned a lot of life lessons from my Grandma during that time which I will never forget. Even my husband, whom I was dating when I introduced him to my Grandma, formed a special bond with her. He learned to love her quirkiness, and her funny sense of humor and looked forward to our visits with her at the senior center.
There are many moments in my life when I feel my Grandmas's personality come out in something I am saying or doing. I'll suddenly stop whatever I'm doing and say to myself, "This a Grandma Lois moment!" It always makes me smile! I feel close to my Grandma when I feel that I'm emulating her personality or characteristics. Today I had a moment when I really felt the Lois Stokes' genes pulsing through my veins! I was asked to teach in a Primary Sunday school class, which is something my Grandma loved to do. She taught Sunday school for our church for many, many years. She even wrote a book about how to be a good Primary Sunday school teacher! So today as I was teaching these little 6 years olds I brought a fun game that I used to play at my Grandma's house, which I call Grandma's Secret Sock Jar.
She used to have a large jar in her house that was covered in black paper so you couldn't see what was inside. Then she cut the bottom of a tube sock and stuck the top of the sock over the top of the jar so you couldn't see what was at the bottom, either. The fun part was sticking your hand and arm down the sock and picking out a prize at the bottom! Sometimes she would have us play a guessing/feeling game where she stuck random objects in the secret jar and we had to guess what they were. This was one of my favorite things to do when I was a child visiting Grandma's house!
So I channeled my inner Grandma and brought Grandma's secret sock jar and played a guessing/feeling game with the Sunday school kids. They had to guess what different items there were from nature like a walnut, a seashell, a pinecone, a wasp nest, fools gold, a leaf, and an orange. As I was walking around having the children stick their hands in the jar to guess, while also reminding them how much their Heavenly Father loved them and that He made all these beautiful things in nature just for them, I had to stop and say to myself,"This is a Grandma Lois moment!"
My Grandma had the best ideas and I've used so many of them in my callings with children. Thank you, Grandma!!
I miss my Grandma Lois a lot and I think of her often. One of the last times I saw her she bore her testimony to me of her love for Jesus Christ. She said that after she died if I ever wanted to hear her testimony again to just read the words to the LDS hymn, I Know that my Redeemer Lives. Now I can't read or sing that hymn without crying. I can hear my Grandma's voice in those words and I know she is living happily above with our Savior and Redeemer. Her testimony gives me strength during hard times and helps me feel loved. I look forward to when we can be together again-- singing, dancing, laughing, telling stories, sharing our testimonies, and having those special moments together that only the best of Grandmas can provide!