On June 22nd Louise Wilma Moulton passed peacefully into the great beyond...
My sweet grandma died, but so much of her spirit lingers. Of her death, I imagine she would say, “Well, for crap’s sake, let’s not talk about that anymore.” More importantly, for nearly 96 years Grandma Lou lived!
She was born in Kansas and her mother died when she was only a toddler. Of growing up without a mother she said, “I felt the loss,” and yet without that model in her life she became a loving and nurturing mother and grandmother to her own kids and grandkids and to everyone in the neighborhood. She enjoyed children greatly. Her joy and patience manifested around them, whether through play or in sharing her knowledge. Her generous nature also shone through with kiddos; she helped pull teeth and stop hiccups galore.
Grandma was smart. She could spell like nobody’s business. She watched Jeopardy almost every night and it was amazing what she knew. Her long-term memory was epic; she could remember poems from second grade, the names of classmates from high school, historical events, family history, and the list could go on and on. Flipping through an old journal she and I used to share back and forth, I found her commentary about current events and politics to be so well informed. Grandma revealed to me, “If I knew I would have lived this long, I’d have been a writer.” She certainly had the vocabulary to excel in that area. She had a curious mind and even right up until her last days continued to utter her favorite phrase, “I wonder…”
Louise was also a teacher, though not in the professional sense. However she taught me how to enjoy the little things, basic self-care, and countless life lessons. She taught me how to dunk my cookies in milk, how to dry between my toes after bathing, how to memorize poetry, “Now I am so small I know, but eating carrots will make me grow!”, and so much more. Because grandma had a gentle heart, through her actions and by example, she taught me compassion. Grandma Lou also taught me acceptance, tolerance, and how to look at a situation from someone else’s perspective. She taught me to be a good listener. I could tell grandma anything and know that she would let me finish my story before giving me her two cents. Because her advice was offered out of love and concern for my well being rather than judgment, I was often able to benefit from her wisdom rather than resist it. Whenever my life seems out of balance in someway, I look to one of Lou’s most frequent axioms, “Everything in moderation.”
Perhaps one of my favorite things about Grandma Lou; she was fun! Though prim and proper in most situations, her propriety made it even more entertaining when she would tell a bawdy joke. Her wit, word choice and wisecracks continued to delight me well into her 90s. She loved to smile and laugh. Happy to play games, give hugs, dance and sing; my grandma was an enjoyable person to be around.