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A Sad Goodbye And A Good Riddance To 2020

Happy New Year, y’all! We made it. 2020 is officially in our rear view mirror, and I couldn’t be happier about that. But that dreadful year couldn’t just go quietly at the end. It took my grandmother — my last remaining grandparent — with it.

I’ve mentioned her several times before in previous posts, so those of you who have been around for a while may remember me writing about her. Her grandchildren called her Mernie. She was an amazing woman, a force of nature, and a huge influence on my life. This was her on her 104th birthday.

Mernie was born in 1912, and died last Tuesday, December 29, at the age of 108. It’s hard to even imagine everything she saw and experienced over her 108 years, having been born before indoor plumbing was common and outhouses were the norm, and before cars were common, and before most houses had electricity and were still being lighted with kerosene lamps and heated with wood stoves. She had such amazing and funny stories to tell of her childhood, dating my grandfather, and life in general over her 108 years.

People often ask me how I got into building and DIY and sewing and all of the other things I do, and both of my mom’s parents were a huge influence on my creative life. My grandfather, who we called Dad, had a workshop by their house filled with tools and projects he was working on. When I was little, I remember being amazed at all of the tools and the things he could make with them. He’d build furniture, decorative items, cabinets, etc. When I was probably in my early teen years, he taught me how to use his miter saw. I remember being terrified of it, but also thrilled with the experience. That was certainly the beginning of my interest in power tools.

Mernie’s areas of interest were more towards sewing, crocheting, and crafting. She was always making something and using her creativity in various ways. I have no doubt that her creative endeavors also had a huge influence on my as I was growing up. And of course, she passed her creativity on to my mom, who has always been a huge influence on me when it comes to anything creative and artistic.

But the reason Mernie was such a huge influence to me and everyone who knew her was because she was the most determined and courageous person I’ve ever known. I’ve told this story before, but I’ll tell it again.

Forty-seven years ago, Mernie and Dad were remodeling a bathroom in their house. The bathroom had a closet with a hot water heater in it, and just as they opened a can of some sort of solvent-based chemical, the hot water heater came on, and the vapors from the chemical caught on fire and trapped Mernie in the bathroom. Dad tried to pull her out, and ended up getting pretty badly burned. But Mernie got the worst of it. She ended up with third-degree burns over almost 60% of her body.

The doctors were convinced that she would not survive. They told the family that even if, by some miracle, she did happen to survive, she would basically be completely bedridden and helpless for the rest of her life, with no use of her legs, her arms, her hands, etc. She would be completely dependent upon others to take care of her 24/7.

Well, they clearly didn’t know who they were dealing with. As I said, she was the most determined woman I’ve ever known. She suffered through weeks and weeks of torturous treatment and therapy, and was in the hospital a total of three months. I happened to be born when she was in the hospital.

When she was released, the hospital issued her papers stating that she was totally and permanently disabled. Well, that made her mad, and she became determined to prove them wrong.

The morning after she was released from the hospital, she got up and cooked a big breakfast for her and my grandfather, and then she just kept going. About three years later, she was up on the roof helping to re-roof the house. She was simply NOT going to let anyone tell her what she couldn’t do, or what she wasn’t capable of doing. If someone told her she couldn’t, she was going to prove them wrong.

And that was how she lived her life. She had hardship after hardship, but her sheer determination and her unwillingness to wallow in self-pity, along with her unwavering faith in God, kept her going through thick and thin. And her determination was such a huge influence on so many people who knew her. I so wish all of you could have known her!

After my grandfather died, she continued to live by herself in their single-family house until she was 100. When she turned 100, she decided to sell her house and move into an apartment in a retirement center where she could still have her independence while not having to take care of a yard and all of the things that come with home maintenance. She was an awe-inspiring woman all around.

While it was incredibly sad to say goodbye to such an amazing woman, I couldn’t be more blessed to have been able to call her my grandmother. I’m so thankful for her 108-year legacy, and her 47 years of influence on me personally will live with me for the rest of my life.

So with that, I say good riddance to 2020. What a year, huh? It’s one that none of us will soon forget. No matter what life brings in this new year, I’m making a decision right now to face things head on, with sheer determination and grit, just like Mernie would do. Here’s to a new year, a fresh start, and renewed determination. I’m very excited to get back into the full swing of things, dive into some projects, and get back into DIY mode. I’ve got a lot planned for this year, and I’m excited to bring you along with me!

UPDATE: Mernie actually wrote an autobiography in 2011 called Seasons Of My Life, by Thelma Little. You can download it on Amazon for 99 cents. This version doesn’t have as many pictures, but the stories are the same. The hardback version is available on Lulu.com.



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103 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Nikki
    January 4, 2021 at 10:30 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. What a fantastic woman she was! You were so lucky to have her in your life and for such a long time. Keep your memories of her close to your heart and be comforted by the love of your family and friends. Hugs to you.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Robbie
      January 4, 2021 at 6:11 pm

      So sorry for your loss, but thank you so much for sharing this amazing woman’s life.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cheryl S-B
    January 4, 2021 at 10:34 am

    So Sorry you have lost one so dear to you. Great tribute to that wonderful life she lived. Glad the new year is finally hear. Can’t wait to follow you into it!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Christine
      January 4, 2021 at 11:27 am

      Dear Kristi and Family, I am so sorry for loss of your Mernie. She and your Grandfather sounded like amazing people. Although I am much older then you I also had fantastic Greandparents who were a permanent influence on my life. I. Think of them plus my parents everyday. Their lessons live on through me. What a wonderful gift we got by sharing time with them.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Jayne Finkbohner
        January 4, 2021 at 8:29 pm

        I am so sorry for your loss but so happy about how extremely blessed you are by this strong, beautiful woman of God! Wow what a walk of faith and impact on the people around her. God bless you and may a beautiful part of her spirit live on in you. Your sharing is so inspirational.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Peggy Merrill
      January 4, 2021 at 12:01 pm

      So sorry for your loss. Your grandmother was a beautiful lady.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Janet Prater
      January 4, 2021 at 1:07 pm

      Saying goodbye is never easy no matter how long our loved ones are in our lives…..reading your thoughts as you say goodbye to Miss Mernie, I see how blessed you are. Love never goes away, it’s in your. Thinking about you as the new year begins.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Brenda
        January 4, 2021 at 1:35 pm

        Kristi I am so sorry for the loss of your grandmother. She was such a beautiful and inspiring lady. You truly have family members that have lots of talent. I am always amazed at your talent. I have missed seeing your posts, and have been thinking of you a lot lately. Be strong and keep doing what you know to do. Thank you for the inspiring story.

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          Sharon
          January 4, 2021 at 6:13 pm

          Mernie sounds like an amazing force of nature. You were so lucky to have her in your life. I can see now where you get your determined nature.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Darlene Couch
      January 5, 2021 at 12:18 pm

      I’m sorry she left you but what remains is forever in your heart. You are amazing due to the gifts she gave you. She is always in your heart.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sue
    January 4, 2021 at 10:34 am

    What an inspiration to you and via you to us. Thanks for sharing this. Hugs and prayers

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cheryl Kohan
    January 4, 2021 at 10:42 am

    I don’t know the last time I read something so inspiring…Mernie was definitely one In a million and you certainly were blessed to be her grandchild. It’s so hard to lose those you love (been there) but, honestly, if the memories are good (mine are) it’s the best comfort, ever.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Christine
      January 4, 2021 at 12:46 pm

      So sorry for your loss. Your grandmother was truly an amazing women. You wrote a beautiful tribute to her. May she rest in peace.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Josie
    January 4, 2021 at 10:43 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. What a phenomenal woman she was! Wishing you the best in 2021!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    JoAnn Harrison
    January 4, 2021 at 10:43 am

    Sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing her incredible story with us.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cindy
    January 4, 2021 at 10:46 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. She sounds like such an amazing and strong woman.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mary Henderson
    January 4, 2021 at 10:54 am

    What an amazing story about your grandmother. You will treasure those memories forever.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Diana Taylor
    January 4, 2021 at 10:54 am

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your precious grandmother. What a legacy she left. An incredible life ..amazing will to persevere. Thank you for sharing her story.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kelly
    January 4, 2021 at 10:54 am

    So sorry for your loss. Your Grandmother sounds like quite a person to have had in your life.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jen
    January 4, 2021 at 10:58 am

    Thanks for sharing her story. I’m sorry for your loss.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Pamela Dee Pulkrabek
    January 4, 2021 at 11:06 am

    What a great story-thanks for sharing. My grandfather fell off a silo and broke his back in his 40’s. He was not going to survive, leaving a wife and 6 children with a farm to keep going. Little did they know he hadn’t lived half his life yet. He died at 98.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cathy Knobelauch
    January 4, 2021 at 11:06 am

    I always wondered where your talents and determination came from and now I know! What wonderful memories you shared of your grandmother. I’m sorry for your loss but hope those memories give you comfort.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Irene Schwemlein
      January 4, 2021 at 11:48 am

      Deepest condolences to you and yours. Hopefully your memories will get you through the sadness.
      You have been blessed to have been surrounded by such inspiring family members.
      Rest in peace Mernie.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Stacey
    January 4, 2021 at 11:07 am

    What an amazing woman. I’m sorry for your loss.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Etoni
    January 4, 2021 at 11:08 am

    God bless your grandmother and your family for losing her. May she rest in peace. She sounds like an incredible fireball. Reminds me of the spirit of my mom.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Rochelle Blackford
    January 4, 2021 at 11:17 am

    Kristi, My condolences on the loss of your grandmother. What a full life she had. (and so happy your back!)

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Donna Rathel
      January 5, 2021 at 12:05 pm

      Kristi,
      What an amazing woman ! Thank you for sharing. I believe she lives on in you 😊. The creativity and determination you show us all is truly amazing. Your posts are encouraging and bring me joy just to read and see the beautiful things you create.
      Even when those ‘mean girls’ comment you handle them with confidence and grace. I know Mernie is so very proud of the woman you have become 🤗

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ellen Kelly
    January 4, 2021 at 11:17 am

    What a beautiful tribute to your Grandmother. My grandmother was my best friend.
    I’m fortunate to have my mom at 97. Endulge yourself in your precious memories ❤️

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    elle
    January 4, 2021 at 11:18 am

    So very sorry for this huge loss. What a beautiful tribute to an amazing woman, How wonderful that you had a long relationship with her and your grandfather. Thank you for telling us about her. Very inspiring!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Melanie
    January 4, 2021 at 11:23 am

    Wow! God surely blessed her. So sorry to hear of your loss. She lived a full life and raised a good family – a life worth living! Make sure you smile along with those tears!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kimberly Presson
    January 4, 2021 at 11:25 am

    Such a beautiful story of an amazing human. I know she will be missed but your memories will always be there! I love love love your ideas! Keep them coming! Hugs from Southeast Missouri!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Becca
      January 4, 2021 at 1:24 pm

      Kristi, I am deeply sorry for your loss. Mernie is such an inspiration. She is the kind of woman I want to be. Tough, wise, determined, creative, and gorgeous, inside and out. I am sitting here in tears reading your tribute to her. You shared her in such a way I feel I know her and I can imagine how deeply she will be missed. Loss is such a terrible thing to experience, but what a blessed day it will be when you are reunited in heaven. Until then, God bless you, your family, and may you still feel Mernie’s presence all around you.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Melissa Kramer
    January 4, 2021 at 11:26 am

    She sounds like such an amazing woman! Thank you for sharing her with us.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Eileen
    January 4, 2021 at 11:27 am

    What a treasure she was and will continue to be through you and the skills she and your grandfather shared with you. You obviously have her determination. Carry that and her joy with you.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Connie
    January 4, 2021 at 11:28 am

    How truly fortunate you have been to have such an amazing woman in your life for 47 years. Those of us lucky enough to have grandparents and great-grandparents who influence our lives are truly blessed. My grandmother was also a woman with grit and strength who did amazing things that were not the “norm” during her time.
    However, something changes when we loose the last grandparent. Its sad, of course, as would be expected but its also a true end to any part of childhood within us. So difficult to describe.
    Kristi, I am so sorry for your lose but glad you were so blessed with here. She will live on in you.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Judy
    January 4, 2021 at 11:29 am

    What an amazing woman, and what an amazing inspiration for you! You obviously take after her in gumption and stick-to-it-tiveness, and she will be with you, encouraging and cheering you on, in whatever project you take on. Blessings to you and your mom and the rest of your family as you continue to tell her stories.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marla
    January 4, 2021 at 11:30 am

    My sympathies to you and all your family on the loss of your beloved grandmother.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kristine Porter
    January 4, 2021 at 11:30 am

    What an amazing woman. I believe she lives on through you. On the roof 3 years after getting out of the hospital, does that mean she was 64 and helping RE-roof her home? Wow!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jane
    January 4, 2021 at 11:31 am

    I’m very sorry for your loss, but am happy that you experienced such a determined and joyful grandmother!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sandy
    January 4, 2021 at 11:37 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss…what an amazing woman..108 years!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Connie
    January 4, 2021 at 11:38 am

    She’s in heaven and having a great reunion and enjoying her mansion! She will greet all of the rest of her family someday! What a blessing to have had her.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    cheryl melanson
    January 4, 2021 at 11:39 am

    Grandmothers are a true gift from God. They love us in a way ;no other could.

    So sorry for your loss. I think that I might just see ALOT of her in you.

    Be blessed. She was amazing!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jill Nelson
    January 4, 2021 at 11:40 am

    Wow! I find myself feeling a little jealous not having met this woman! What a blessing to have her in your life for as long as you did! We, here on the blog, are blessed by the gifts she instilled in you and you now share with us. I’m sorry for your loss but so thankful you have such wonderful memories.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kate S
    January 4, 2021 at 11:41 am

    Eternal rest grant unto her oh Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon her. May her precious soul Rest In Peace. Amen.

    CS Lewis put it best, we do not go through grief, grief goes through us. It cannot be “scheduled” or “planned” — it simply happens. May God’s Peace be with you and all those dear to her.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Deb
    January 4, 2021 at 11:44 am

    Thank you for sharing this story, truly an inspiration. My deepest sympathies to you.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Charlotte
    January 4, 2021 at 11:45 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful lady with a wonderful soul. You were so blessed to have her in your life for such a long time.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Barbara B. Pilcher
    January 4, 2021 at 11:47 am

    You have my sympathies, Kristi. What an amazing story, and an inspiration to all of us. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sherry Cooper
    January 4, 2021 at 11:57 am

    I loved your story about your great grandma. My dad was born in 1910. I was amazed at her longevity! Did she outlive her children? My great grandma died at 106 and outlived her 6 children. I often think of what people born early in the last century witnessed as change in the world. Is She from your mom’s side? I relate to your grandma, I was hanging drywall this past weekend and I am a woman 68 and hope to live many more decades. I’d love to hear more about her!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      January 4, 2021 at 1:41 pm

      My grandparents had two daughters — my mom and my aunt. Both are still alive and well. 🙂 My mom is 82, and my aunt is 79. My grandmother actually wrote an autobiography when she was 96. I’ll add a link to the bottom of the post. It’s available in hardback and as a downloadable version (Kindle).

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen
    January 4, 2021 at 11:59 am

    What a lovely tribute to your dear Mernie. She sounds like a true spitfire of a woman! I am so sorry for your loss, but you have gained so much from having her in your life. . . . . now you have an Angel! May the wonderful memories you made with Mernie embrace you with peace, and comfort and eventually with smiles and happiness of a life well lived.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jessica
    January 4, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your grandmother. 108 is an amazing number of years! You and I are very close to the same age and I am SO grateful my 93 year old grandmother is still alive, living in her own home (the only one I can ever remember her living in). She is just as determined as hour grandmother was and she is such an example to me. May your beautiful, loving, and long memories with her continue to give you joy and strength!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Joan Hornung
    January 4, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    Kristi, I loved the story of your grandparents, and now we know where some of your talents and interests come from. Inherited or nurtured, they had an awesome influence on you. You are a tribute to them as well. Can you imagine the pride they had in you as you tackled things most of us would never think we could do. I lost my mom at 99, but if she was still alive she would now be 104. She and your grandma grew up around the same time, and I think grit and determination was part of that generation – they worked so much harder back then, and I’m sure the challenges were many. I have the utmost respect for that generation. God rest your beautiful grandma – she and grandpa are watching and loving you from heaven – keep making them so proud. You make all of us proud with your accomplishments. Sincere condolences to your mom and all the family. 💜

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    JoAnne
    January 4, 2021 at 12:03 pm

    Dear Kristi,

    I am so very sorry for your loss. She was an amazing, incredible woman. She lives on in you -remember always that you are amazing and incredible too – her gifts to you. Thank you for sharing her life with us. Blessings to you and your Family and deepest condolences.

    JoAnne

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Darlene
    January 4, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    I’m sorry you had to give her up but happy for you in all the gifts she gave you. A loving special grandmother is such a wonderful blessing. Thank you for sharing stories about her and celebrating her life.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marjorie Ellison
    January 4, 2021 at 12:12 pm

    Please accept my deepest condolences for the loss of your Grandmother. Thank you for sharing your memories of her with us. She must have been truly a great lady with incredible resolve to have faced all she did in her very long life. I hope your memories of her will bring you comfort. I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Denise
    January 4, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    My sympathy in losing your grandmother! Such a terrible year 2020 was. Thank you for sharing her life with us what an inspiration to us all!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susan
    January 4, 2021 at 12:14 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. Prayers for you snd your family.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kristin
    January 4, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    I’m so sorry–she sounds like an amazing, wonderful woman. I wish I could have known her as well! Thank you for sharing that story–so inspiring and encouraging. I love her grit and determination. :’-)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jason
    January 4, 2021 at 12:16 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss, thanks for sharing you will have a lot of wonderful memories to treasure. Xx

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Deborah
    January 4, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your Mernie. The essence of her will live on through you. She sounds like someone I would have loved to have in my life, thank you for sharing your memories!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marilyn Canaday
    January 4, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    What a wonderful woman! Love and prayers to you and all your family.❤️🙏🏻❤️🙏🏻

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jane W Adams
    January 4, 2021 at 12:29 pm

    Oh Kristi, it is deeply hard to lose such a loved one, but her legacy clearly lives on in you and, I daresay, others in Mernie’s family. May the new year bring comfort. Thank you for sharing with us.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Gwen
    January 4, 2021 at 12:36 pm

    Probably my favorite post of yours. What an amazing woman. Bless her soul. Thank you for sharing this

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    cyd
    January 4, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    My sincere sympathies to you and your family. She certainly lived an amazing life and obviously was gifted with great determination. To God be the glory!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Nadine
    January 4, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    My deepest condolences to you and your family. Your grandma was such an inspiration!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Judy A
    January 4, 2021 at 12:50 pm

    Thank you for sharing, I’m in awe. My sympathy to you and your family.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Judy J
    January 4, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    I’m so sorry for you and your family’s loss. Gosh darn it, 2020!

    I wanna be like Mernie!! She is my new inspiration! That whole generation had to endure such hardships, but man, the determination and fortitude they had! Thank you for sharing her with us.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susie
    January 4, 2021 at 1:19 pm

    My condolences to you and your family. Thank you for sharing your grandmother’s amazing story of courage and determination.
    Best wishes for 2021.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Arli
    January 4, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    My deepest condolences to you and all your family. Mernie was, and still is, quite the inspiration. You clearly have a lot of her in you.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    RAinNC
    January 4, 2021 at 1:46 pm

    Thank you for sharing Mernnie’s story with us. It brings to mind the poem of Henry Van Dyke.

    Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.

    May your family rejoice in Mernie’s life even as you grieve her loss.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Tara W
    January 4, 2021 at 1:50 pm

    Kristi, I am so inspired reading the story of your grandmother’s exceptional life. What an incredible woman she was! Condolences to you and your family as you go through the days ahead.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    tracy
    January 4, 2021 at 1:57 pm

    Mernie sounds like an amazing woman. Some cultures believe you die twice – first when your physical body dies and the second time is when nobody remembers you. Mernie will live on forever xx

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Julie
    January 4, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    My sympathy, what a cherished and incredible woman. Your own memories and inspired attributes will bless and comfort you in the void she is leaving. I bet she was equally proud and adoring of you. May 2021 bless you in kind ways

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Danna
    January 4, 2021 at 2:20 pm

    I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Grandma. What an important role they play in our lives. I think your grandma and mine would have been great friends!! At least we both know that they are celebrating their faith in God and living in His presence!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    HopeJW
    January 4, 2021 at 2:22 pm

    Wow, what a life indeed! I can hear the admiration And love in your words. What you have now are memories that will inspire and drive you for the rest of your days.
    Being adopted I fully realize just exactly what that kind of woman can mean in a younger woman’s life. I believe you knew that pretty early on. Your grandparents were wonderful people who shared what they knew and what they had.
    Like all people, good riddance to 2020!
    Looking forward to 2021 being a much better year for all humanity.
    I pray you peace for your loss. 🙏🏻

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Tanya
    January 4, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I would have loved to know her. I just bought her book so I can enjoy some stories! I wish you a happy 2021!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Barbara H.
    January 4, 2021 at 3:23 pm

    As others have said, she is living on in you and in all those who knew her. What a strong, determined woman! I’m glad you had her for so many years and sorry that her physical presence is gone.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Chelle Ellis
    January 4, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    Rest in peace, Mernie. What a life, well lived! Looking forward to reading the autobiography of an amazing woman. ❤️

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Peggy Pasicznyk
    January 4, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    A beautiful tribute to a beautiful lady. So sorry for your loss.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Melinda S.
    January 4, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful legacy she left for you. She looked beautiful in the pictures, more like in her 70’s than in her 100’s. I just purchased her book on Amazon. I love stories of strong women. My grandmother was among them.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Laura H.
    January 4, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. You were blessed to have someone so wonderful as your grandmother. Your tribute to her is very heartfelt and special. She sounds like she led an amazing and fulfilling life. RIP Mernie. Your legacy will live on in all who knew you.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kitty
    January 4, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing.
    Inspiring people are so important to us all. People of integrity are needed more than ever. Your family was blessed to have her ❤.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Patty
    January 4, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Nancy Sadewater
    January 4, 2021 at 7:10 pm

    I am so sorry for you and your family’s loss.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    designdreamer
    January 4, 2021 at 8:31 pm

    Kristi,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. I DO remember reading about your grandmother before, but I don’t remember that story. AMAZING. Not only did she live to 108 (which is quite a feat!) but she did that AFTER suffering such a injury! I think I know why you are the way you are now.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      designdreamer
      January 4, 2021 at 8:34 pm

      Being a grandmother my self, I hope my grands will look up to me in a similar way some day.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Pamela Myers
    January 4, 2021 at 9:15 pm

    What an amazing woman and legacy she was! You were very blessed to have had her in your life for so long. I am so sorry for your family’s loss, but what a glorious reception she had upon meeting our Lord at the end of her journey!

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    Marianne in Mo.
    January 4, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    I had thought of you this morning, intending on checking to see if you had a post for the new year. But time and my brain got away from me, and I forgot. So sorry for your families loss, but oh what a great life she had! You are incredibly lucky to have had her around this long. I was the baby in the family, and only had my granny here mentally until I was 11. After that she didn’t know me or anyone else in the family and lived like that until I was 16. I was always so sad visiting my Aunt, knowing grandma was locked behind her bedroom door to keep her safe from harming herself or escaping to “go to her home” that she hasn’t had for decades. How lucky you were. But on with a new year and the hope it brings!

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    Kathleen
    January 4, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    Kristi, how blessed you are to have had your grandmother for such a long time. But we all know it’s never long enough. I just had to write because we called my great-grandmother Mernie too! I thought her nickname was original, and I have never heard anyone else call a grand-parent Mernie! My great-grandmother’s name was Myrtle Mae Hutsell. She was born in 1884 and lived for about 80 years. She was a kind, quiet woman whom I truly adored. I was in the first grade when she passed but I remember visiting her and watching Rawhide with her and my great-grandfather. I cherish those memories. I have been following you for a long time and I admire your work. You have been my inspiration for diying all of my homes. I have learned a lot from you and most importantly, you gave me the courage to tackle projects I never thought I could do. Thank you!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carol Willis-Holden
    January 5, 2021 at 10:40 am

    What an amazing woman to have had in your life for so many wonderful years! You are truly blessed! I purchased her memoir for my Kindle and can’t wait to read her words of wisdom.

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    Jeannie
    January 5, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother, Kristi, she sounds like a force of nature. May she rest with God.

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    Nancy Lathan
    January 5, 2021 at 2:57 pm

    Kristi,
    It is so wonderful to have a loved one live a long life and even write a book about it!
    So glad you had her for so many years and such sweet memories. You will miss her!

    Looking forward to your accomplishments in 2021 and learning new things from you!!!
    Asheville, NC

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Julie
    January 5, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    Deepest condolences on your loss, but wow! What an amazing woman! Thank you for sharing a wonderful tribute to her life.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Diane
    January 5, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    I’m so sorry to learn that you no longer have your sweet Grandma here with you. What an inspiring woman she was. Thank you for sharing her stories — just what I needed to hear today.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ann S
    January 5, 2021 at 9:19 pm

    So sorry for your loss. Your grandmother was a remarkable woman. I only wish I had been able to have my grandmother for as long as you did. She was born in 1911 and passed in 1993. She was a feisty little five foot tall dynamo. She could do just about anything. Carpentry, sewing, crochet, wonderful cook. She married at 13 years old and had 3 children before she was twenty. My mother was ill quite a lot when I was small so she helped raise me. Like you she was my last grandparent to pass. Many a time I have wished for just one more day with her. Treasure all the wonderful memories you have of her.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sue Rood
    January 6, 2021 at 9:07 am

    My condolences on the loss of your beloved grandmother. 108 is an amazing life and I can’t wait to read her memoir. Please hold these memories close to your heart and smile when you think of her and her impact on you. Hugs.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kathryn
    January 6, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    Dear Kristi,

    I just feel overwhelmed by your story about Merny. What an incredible, strong woman. She is an inspiration to all women, just as YOU are, Kristi! I do not know any female who does what you do. Not one. You probably think it is just routine, just like your grandmother did!

    I read through all of the comments here, and I was so moved by the outpouring of love from your readers. It was nice to see so many women supporting you.

    Kristi, I am so sorry that your grandmother has crossed over, but can you imagine all of the souls who were there to greet her?! And what a legacy she left behind! I bought her book, and I cannot wait to read it!

    Much love and comfort to you and your family.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sharon
    January 7, 2021 at 9:16 pm

    She was amazing and such an inspiration! And looks much younger than 104 in that picture! So beautiful! Sorry for your loss.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kathie Kenyon
    January 9, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    May you keep those memories close to your heart always. What an amazing lady.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Rose
    January 12, 2021 at 12:27 am

    What a beautiful tribute to an amazing woman. She is an inspiration to us all. I am definitely going to read the book. Thanks for posting this and hope 2021 is a better year! Looking forward to your projects in the new year!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    celestial
    January 15, 2021 at 9:49 am

    Kristi, reading this post has made 2020 almost worth it …what a gem of a woman your grandmother was! 108 years is amazing enough, but to add independent living up until 100 and after having a burn history that would table most men. I now understand how you can take on things like sheetrock and saws and 2×4’s and caring for your husband. Ms. Mernie was incredibly proud of you and we all know it. Thank you for sharing a bit of her history with us; it is inspiring in so many ways.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    barbara t whitaker
    February 9, 2021 at 2:51 pm

    What a touching tribute: Imagine being able to stay on this earth for 108 years! She was beautiful and such a survivor…you are so lucky to have her around for so many years. I never knew my Grandparents (died when I was very young); so now I’m at that age…and desparetly want to live to see my Grandchildren hit 15-20 years old!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda
    February 12, 2021 at 5:41 pm

    Kristi, I’m so sorry for your loss. When we lost my mom my brother called it her birthday in heaven and that just makes heaven feel so much more special to know we will meet again. I was amazed to read about your Grandma Mernie, who she was, some of what she did, the example she left for you and your family and even touches me to make me want to try harder. She must have been so proud of you because you are pretty amazing too!

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