Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lula's Story: Part Two

To read Part One of Grandma Lula's story, please click  HERE

Lula's Story

Part Two

But Lula came and rescued those four children from their motherless state, and their father from his widowed one. 

And respecting the mother she herself would never biologically be, she folded those four children of another's womb into her own heart and soul and became more than a mother to them.

She learned the ways of their father's people, learning even to prepare delicacies of a different culture. 

Her husband told his children, after the marriage, that they should start calling her "Mother", and they obeyed and did. For awhile, at least. But soon "Mother" gave way to "Lula", which is how it ought to be. For "Lula" is as she came to them, and she remained "Lula" to all four of them until her dying day. 

There have been a lot of great women out here on the prairie over the generations, and there are still some great women out here: but there has never been another woman on the prairie quite like Lula, and I do not believe that there shall ever be. 

There is only one "Lula". No one else could have raised her husband's four children quite in the same manner as she did.

And no one else could have become grandmother and great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother to their children, their grandchildren, and their great grandchildren in quite the same manner as she.

The story of Lula is a tale of almost Biblical proportions, filled with delicious details about angel food cake with whipped cream; kluckenmus; scalloped potatoes made with cream and butter; cream, vinegar, and sugar on fresh garden lettuce; eggs, greasy bacon, sausage, and homemade buns dripping with fresh butter; and filled with presents...new pajamas for the grandkids every Christmas; and games, Bingo and pinochle (she was good at the game, even shooting the moon now and then, perhaps; and on occasion she couldn't help "peeking" if either of those on either side of her got too involved in the social aspect of the game and failed to properly conceal their hands.)

She came to the farm up by Crocus from her home in Rugby with nothing much except a suitcase full of clothes, and one or two other precious possessions, just short of her 31st birthday...and last Wednesday morning she walked over to the other side of life as rich as that Hebrew mother who was paid wages to nurse her own child in the royal palace. 

It is a remarkable story, Biblical almost, the stuff of which legends are made.

Some people might look at a story like hers and think its just another story. Such people are to be pitied. 

For it seems to me that the two main characters in this story are not Lula and her husband, or Lula and the children, or Lula and her friends. 

It seems to me that the tow main characters in this story are Lula and God. 

Who else could have given shape to such a gracious Lula, a woman with beauty beyond wind and dust, and a heart bigger than the sprawling Devil's Lake?

Today I thank God I have had the privilege of knowing at least a piece of that story, the privilege of being a marginal character in the heart of one of its main ones. 

I love this story, you see. 

It is one of the best Dakota stories I have ever seen. And the wonder of it all is this: every on of you who are here is a part of it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Unfortunately, I did not get to know Grandma Lula as well as my father went to engineering school and moved to the plains of Kansas where jobs were more plentiful.  I do recall a few trips up north; of loving, welcoming arms; of homemade sausage, mashed potatoes and sour kraut; and I do believe I recall that sugared lettuce as well! 

It is my hope that when my time comes I will have made an indelible mark on this world such as Grandma Lula had done. 

11 comments:

Mommakin said...

What a lovely story!

Brian Miller said...

it is a great story...and we each make our mark..in many different ways...i know you will...

Cynthia@RunningWithLetters said...

Lulu sounds like someone I'd love to know. I, too, hope I can leave an imprint like hers after I'm gone.

(Not so sure about the sugared lettuce, though...LOL)

Julie Schuler said...

What a very strange and lovely story! How a stranger can become a matriarch.

Jenny said...

This is magnificent.

Willoughby said...

It was worth the wait to read part two. I love Lula's story! Thanks for sharing it!

Tina said...

Would love to have met her...but it seems you're following in her footsteps now. Didn't know you were a grandma! Congrats. Thanks so much for sharing such a personal story with all of us.

Ms Bibi said...

What a beautiful story.It's too bad you didn't get to spend more time with her, but I bet the time you spent was precious.

She truly sounds like an extraordinary woman.

Susan Deborah said...

"It seems to me that the tow main characters in this story are Lula and God" -- What a glowing tribute. I have never come across a eulogy as this and why not when the person is worth like Lula. I think of the play 'Julius Caesar' where Anthony says: "This was THE man." Lula deserves the same words: She was THE woman!

Thanks Polly for sharing your family's story with us. I learnt and unlearnt a lot of thing here.

God bless you and in your own way, as Brian remarked, you have made your mark for everyone comes with a purpose.


Joy always,
Susan

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Glad for sharing something so precious from your life, Poly!
Lovely story1

Have great day!,
Big hugs!
B xx

Raoulysgirl said...

Lula sounds like an amazing woman. Apparently, genes are not the only contributing factor to a child's disposition...as I am quite sure that she would be very proud of the woman who chose to share this story with us.

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