Friday, January 27, 2012

A Tribute to Wilna Bounds

My Grandma Wilna Pauline Lee Bounds went to Heaven on Wednesday night. She was 90 years old and had been married for 70 years.
Words cannot fully express how wonderful she was to me. As the only granddaughter, I held a very special position in the family. My Grandma was a very important part of my life.
She taught me how to crochet at the age of 7. She taught me how to make Jacob's Ladder and a crow's foot with a piece of string. She made clothes for me and my Barbies. She took me to garage sales and bought me wonderful books. She took me swimming at the beach and made me wear my shoes so I wouldn't cut my feet on any glass. After my incessant begging, she climbed up in the attic to get the baby clothes she made by hand for my mother. She took the time to wash and iron all of them before letting me have them for my baby dolls. She prayed with me at night (we blessed everybody from Mama and Daddy to the horses and dogs, everybody we could think of). She let me play with her fabric scraps when she sewed. She kept toys at her house such as the Little People farm set (we had to put tissue in the crack of the horse's leg so it would stay put) and a pogo stick. As a teenager I would call and talk to her for hours even though she lived just right across the road. On several birthdays and Christmases she gave me roller skates -- all because that had been her favorite gift growing up in the orphanage. I still remember her alto voice singing in church.

Grandma suffered from Alzheimer's for several years. My mother was her primary caregiver devoting MUCH time, worry, and care. Before I was married, I hoped and prayed that she would live long enough to come to my wedding. When I became pregnant, I hoped and prayed she would live long enough to meet my baby. I knew that I would name my daughter after her. My daughter's name is Grace Elizabeth Lee Kinsey. The Lee is after her. My middle name is Pauline after my Grandma as well. When Gracie was one month old, we took her on her first road trip. We went for a weekend visit to South Mississippi. When we arrived, my Grandma was sitting on the couch at my mom's. I brought the baby over to her, and they both smiled at each other. You can see Grandma's beautiful, happy smile in the picture above. Gracie had smiled on occasion before, but that weekend she began smiling often. Such a wonderful memory!

I last saw my Grandma at Christmastime. Before we left, I went to say goodbye. At each previous goodbye, I wondered if that would be the last. This time she was asleep in her recliner. I woke her up. She looked up at me and gave me the same beautiful, happy smile as in the picture above. I could tell she was more lucid than she had been in months. She looked peaceful instead of nervous. I talked with her telling her we love her. I asked her if she knew who the baby was, and she said "Gracie." I reminded her of how we named Gracie after her because we love her. This time, I knew God was giving me the gift of a special time with her before she went to Heaven.

The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. (Psalm 16:6)

Her children arise up, and call her blessed. A woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. (Proverbs 31:28, 30)
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  1. I am sorry for your loss, Ava. What wonderful memories you have of your loving grandmother. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  2. Well, I can't stop touching and wonderful. You know, I hardly have any memories with my grandparents. Reading this makes me see how much I missed. Praying for you, and grieving with you. She was an amazing lady and you are just like her.

  3. This is so sweet, made me think back to my own Grandma. Hold onto those memories and what she taught you and she will always be a part of you and your home. That is what someone told me when mine got her wings. Now I am the Grandma and I pray I will be half the one she was. Praying for you and sending hugs and loves. I am glad you have a goodly heritage.

  4. Oh Ava! That is so beautiful! It made me cry. I remember her almost my whole life too. She made clothes for my Barbie doll and I still have them all in my cedar trunk. I have such sweet memories of how much she loved you and how proud she was of you and all that you accomplished in your miraculous life. Of course she was very proud of her whole family. I have a couple of quilts that my Mama made, that she then had Mrs. Bounds haUnd quilt for her. I would send her photos of my family over the years and when I would go visit them, she would have the pictures on the doors of the China Hutch. She was so precious, doubly and I can still here her sweet laugh. She was a precious friend to my parents and we surely loved her. Gay Hope Walters Mayles