My Grandmother passed away this past Saturday at the age of 83, right after the nursing home hospice chaplain finished reciting the Lord’s Prayer at her bedside.My mom told her the day before she died, that God was going to make her a saint, and give her a beautiful mansion. Right next to Mother Theresa. It wouldn’t surprise me. She was the kindest, gentlest, strongest woman I’ve ever known. She raised four children and stayed in a marriage that most would describe as un-happy, until the last child was off to college. She didn’t hold a grudge against my Granddaddy or stay bitter, though, as many women understandably would. She forgave and they remained friends until he passed away in 2002.Her obituary reads…
“HOLMES, NANCY FERN BOWARD, 83 of Louisville, passed away Saturday November 13, 2010.
She was a native of Charlotte, NC and was a graduate of Queens College. She was a member of St. Mark United Methodist Church, Hikes Point Homemakers and was employed by World Book Encyclopedia.
She is survived by son David F. Holmes Jr. (Billie); daughters Ann Holmes Esterle (Mark), Susan Holmes Stottman (Paul) and Carolyn Holmes Carter (Steve); grandchildren, Katherine Holmes, Libby Holmes, Nathan Holmes, Andrea Esterle, Richard Stottman, Stephanie Mullins (Joe) and Wesley Carter; and great-grandchildren, Summer and Camryn Mullins.
Her funeral will be Wednesday, 10:30 a.m. at St. Mark United Methodist Church. 4611 Lowe Road, with burial to follow at Cave Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be Tuesday, 4-7:30 p.m. at Ratterman's, 3711 Lexington Road.
Contributions in her name may go to St. Mark United Methodist Church or Alzheimer's Association.”The current minister at the church my grandmother (and I) attended for years and the minister of music that was there when my Grandmother sang in the choir shared the duty of presiding over the funeral service. They did a wonderful job. The service was just beautiful and couldn’t have gone better. She was then buried right next to my Granddaddy, near a huge tree and the duck pond that we love to visit.
My dad wrote an amazing poem for my mom about her mother that I would like to share with you all…
Bounty of Strength
A woman of faith, kind and gentle are what first come to mind
Dignity, smiling and laughing were her traits all the time
But for me her best quality was much harder to see
It was her incredible strength of character
As she devoted herself to her family
When marriage ends
It is easy to point fingers and say “How could you do that to me”
It is much harder to stay above that
And focus on truly what is the most important reality
It may appear to be weakness, to not demand retribution
But it takes courage to make the children your greatest contribution
She knew in her heart that her children came first
So unselfishly she stayed the course yet you know that she hurt
But she would not let it show through, I don’t remember one time
I’m sure there were private moments though she felt she might lose her mind
But that points to the pillar of strength that this women had
Most of us let everyone know when we are mad or sad
But her devotion to always acting in a Motherly way
Helped do wonders for her children
Helped prepare them for this day
The children now adults with families and homes
It was through her great perseverance that
Her son and daughters took heed and made her strength their own
Grandmother has passed and yes there will be tears
There will be memories of her faith and tender kindness throughout all the years
But what I will carry with me, blessed in knowing this kind soul
Is that for her, being a Mother came first as her bounty of strength now shows
Death, even when it is expected, is never easy to deal with. But we know she in a much better place now, and will keep her memory and her strength and her kindness in our hearts always.