Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Namesake

This morning my grandmother, Eleanor Brown Greve went to join the rest of the saints to rejoice in heaven. My sister beat me to the punch and wrote a beautiful blog about her, "Instead." I can't top it but what I do want to add are the things I remember about this soft spoken, classy woman and what set her apart and why I hold her dear.

I had so many connections with Gran besides my middle name, of which I am the 4th. She was one of the first memebers of the Centenary College Choir and I savored every minute that I was able to stand next to her to sing "Tenebrae." I remember my freshman year in Chi Omega sorority seeing her at my initiation and having her pin her Chi-O pin on me. In keeping with all these "passing ons," we shared a love of geneology. My high school geneology project led us to find a new ancestor together and I was honored when I was asked if I would like to keep her notes on the family geneology.

Growing up, her kitchen was a wonder to me. It was the classic blue and white with beautiful violets in the window above the sink. (I have tried to grow them myself, and have always wished to have them in my own kitchen to remind me of her, but have been very unsuccessful.) She made the most incredible lemon squares, just sour enough with tons of powdered sugar on top that it made a huge mess. I never ate dressing until after I was married, but I came to realize that she made the best with Jiffy cornbread mix. I loved sitting on the kitchen stool watching her cook, mix or make Jell-O, of which she was the master of the Jell-O mold.

Having been through the Great Depression, Gran was the queen of recycling and was probably the first "green" person I knew. She saved every plastic bag and any type of plastic tub. That was her tupperware. I loved going over to her house because I always had a water bottle in the fridge with my name taped to it. (This was way before bottled water was cool.) This was usually an old lemon juice squeeze bottle, the triangular version. It was so fun to squeeze the water in my mouth. But, she also had really cool bumpy green glasses to drink milk or Vernor's Ginger Ale out of.

But, maybe the one memory that I have of her that maybe none of my other siblings or cousins do, is that I would help her perm her hair. Instead of going to the salon, I would spend the afternoon handing her the tiny papers or rollers and then squeeze on the solution. It was a wonderful time to spend with her and I wish I could have been there to brush her hair during her final moments.

So, she is gone, but not forgotten in my heart. If only I could have a girl and name her Eleanor as well so her name lives on. Maybe Cavett (which is Gran's mother's maiden name) will have a girl and name her Eleanor.

First picture is with Kendrick and the second of Cavett and the four generations (pardon my post-partum-ness). I also finally found the picture I had been searching for of Cavett with Grampaw.


Candace Chaney said...

Beautiful. What a great way to remember her.

Falcone Family said...

My kind of woman. I bet she was incredible.

Amber said...

Sweet memories! Thanks for sharring them.