The lady pictured above is my neighbor – Vada – my grandmother’s lifelong friend and the kindest person I have ever known.
We will gather today to honor Vada and lay her to rest next to her husband and only child.
She was a grandmotherly lady known for her cooking and kindness. She was famous for her homemade noodles and kept a deep freeze stocked with delicious pies, always ready for the next church dinner or a death in the community.
Vada was one of the last of my grandparents’ generation – a simple country lady who kept a garden, preserved food, quilted, hung out her clothes on the line, and whose home didn’t change in decades.
She was of a generation that had survived so many wars, depressions and recessions that they knew better than to waste anything and were always prepared for trouble. A threat like COVID-19 wouldn’t be a concern to Vada at all because she was always stocked and ready.
Vada was a church lady who loved the Lord. She also loved her pets and was known for feeding strays. She couldn’t stand to see anyone or anything go hungry.
Christmas meant tins of her homemade candies filled to the brim with things like buckeyes, fudge and caramel corn. She loved my homemade sugar cookies so I always made sure she had a supply for Christmas.
She didn’t want her picture taken the day I made the above image. That was several years ago but I remember her saying with a smile and laugh “Oh, Brandi! I didn’t know you would be taking pictures! You don’t want my picture, do you?”
I assured her I did want her picture and snapped a few while she worked her magic in the kitchen.
This moment in time with the blurry hand and the sweet smile is how I want to remember our Vada. This is why we make pictures – so that even when our memories fade, they will never really go away.