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My Grandmother’s Last Christmas (2011)

Marion Elizabeth Beaver, 1920-2012

My Grandmother was a brave woman.  First of all, she married a Navy man in 1942… he served in World War II and the couple added to the Baby Boomer generation; two boys and two girls.  Raising four children is no easy task (ask me!) but she did with love, even when life became a little more challenging.  In 1955, after my Grandfather retired from the Navy, he moved his family to a log cabin homestead in the middle of Oregon.  A place with no power, lots of land and a rushing river running through it. The experience of the following 20 years added to my grandmother’s bravery and diligence.

After relocating to Florida in the early seventies, my grandparents enjoyed years of celebrating the arrival of several grandchildren, including one granddaughter… me.  I have several early memories of them – one involving their little “modern” homestead in Starke, FL; a cozy home, fishing from the dock, and the sound of summer nights.

Fast forward to 2011: My Grandmother had been a widow for 10 years and her granddaughter was moving from Florida to a farm in Virginia with her husband and four children.  We ask her to move up with us (my parents, too) and she joyfully comes.  My grandmother spent the last year of her life, here on the farm with her daughter and son-in-law (my parents, Dave & Betty Werner), her granddaughter and my husband (Ian Reilly) as well as her daily delights: four of her great-grandchildren. She died unexpectedly on March 1, 2012.  But her spirit is present in a variety of ways.  I think of her every time I hear a rooster crow as she would always imitate it saying, “Cock-a-doodle-do! The old lady has lost her shoe!  And she doesn’t know what to do!”  Or she would say in a sassy way, “Cock-a-doodle-do, yourself!”  That one always brought a smile to my face, especially when one of our kids would repeat it in the same manner and tone!

My grandmother’s life and legacy lives on here at Four Corners Farm.  We miss her stories, sayings and the way she could light up a room with her smile.  I love you, Grandma!

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