Florence Biebighauser was born January 17, 1915. She married Ray Matson and had two daughters, one being my estranged husband’s mom. After Ray passed away, Florence married Ray Foster. She was still married to him when I met her 13 yrs ago. Ray passed away a couple years later.
Gram lived about 2 hours away from us, but her home was open to everyone at all times. We went up there all the time to spend the weekend with her. I was proposed to in her living room 13 yrs ago.
Every single fourth of July all of the family would swarm to Grams to spend a week or as long as possible. The rooms at Grams, filled to capacity. And there are a lot of rooms at her house. It’s one of those really old houses that could have 20 people scattered everywhere.
If you went to Grams, you needed to be prepared to be fed and fed well. She was always baking something and making sure you had enough to eat. If she thought you hadn’t eaten enough, you’d see your bowl of fruit filled up yet again or another plop of potatoes. You weren’t going to go home hungry.
I have to tell you, when I met gram she was 83. At that time she knew she was going to die soon. She would tell you every time you visited. “Oh, I’m old, I won’t be here long.” We’d all just look at her and roll our eyes. This woman was salt of the earth and not going anywhere!
She wasn’t going anywhere, but her teddy bear collection was constantly leaving her house. Visiting Gram meant that you were going home with one or two of her bears. No fear, they’d be replaced by garage sale finds or gifts given to her from her loved ones. She had so many bears shelves had to be built around the house to store them all!
My kids enjoyed visiting because she was always sneaking them snacks even if at the dinner table you didn’t eat all your food and she told you not to expect a snack. Yah, right! This is Gram we’re talking about. And she was always ready to play with the kids. Dominoes and puzzles were always on the agenda when you spent a day or weekend with her as a kid. My kids have many memories sitting at the dining room table playing with her.
From her dining room you could see the lake she lived on. Right outside the window were her hummingbird feeders. Those hummingbirds loved Gram and she loved them right back. It was a bird sanctuary in her backyard. She would feed all kinds of birds, which of course meant coons and deer, and the occasional bear would show up at her place.
We have so many amazing memories of this amazing woman of God. She will be terribly missed, but we know for sure and for certain that we’ll see her again one day. Her faith has been passed on to the generations that have come after her and that is her legacy.
I’m thankful and honored to have known this woman for the past 13 yrs.
Gram, you’ll be missed, but we know you are in a wonderful place, your health has been restored and you are rejoicing with your Savior. This is not goodbye Gram, but see you later.