Jean K. Mellang: 1919-2012
My grandma, Jean Mellang, passed away this last Sunday at age 92. This was what I wrote to say at her service today ( though I didn’t use notes so what I actually said was probably kinda different.
Grandma, I love you and will miss you very much.
It’s funny the things you remember….
I’ve got a long commute to work every day and I’ve spend the last few days thinking about grandma and beating myself up that I can’t come up with some poignant story or memory to talk about…
The only things I seem to come up with are a lot of little silly stuff..
I remember going to her house on hickory hills and her giving me a soda… Used to drive mom NUTS but I loved it..
I remember baking cookies…
I remember her slipping me those chalky mints from the club.
I remember her reading me the good Samaritan, Daniel and the lions den, and Joseph and the coat of many colors..
I remember that zipper pocket in her furry winter muff.
I remember her writing me letters full of strange clippings about apple and Steve jobs that she’d found in the paper.
I remember her asking how Kevin is doing.
I remember her asking me every time I called what I did at work, only to respond that she didn’t really understand what I was talking about but it sounded very interesting..
I remember her last letter to me in November where she described to me what she’d had for dinner and advising me to stick to one dog – two might be too many..
I remember her telling me I was gods perfect loving reflection and that she loved me very much… She said that a lot over the years..
But as I thought about this stuff I came to realize that this WAS the important stuff..
The relationship between mother and daughter when it came to parenting styles ( manifested by a soda in my hand before I was out of the car ) must have driven them nuts but I came to realize had a very important side effect – it meant that is was always clear the I was cared for, safe, and loved no matter what… Despite everything that might have been happening around me at the time I was largely aware because I had both of them loving me in their own ways.
Those bible stories and words about perfection and gods love didn’t make much sense to me at the time but they seemed nice… But as I grew up and started question myself and the outside world started telling what was right and wrong it became very important… It meant that I really never questioned whether I was who I was meant to be. I exactly the person I was supposed to be and that was enough…
And, most importantly, those apple clippings about stuff I already knew, questions about work and Kevin, and advice about how many dogs to have? Its because of those I knew that she was thinking about me, interested in my life, and loved me…
So really it’s those little things that seem inconsequential at the time that add up to meaning so much..
And for those, and for her, I’ll always be grateful. And she’ll always be with me.