Patsy Lee

Dear Grandma,

Hey there it’s Rhyseeee Poo, but you knew that already. I’m actually pretty upset with you… there’s a sweet potato pound cake that I really wanted the recipe for and something tells me you didn’t write it down. But I guess we’ll have to talk about that another time. I’ve been trying to decide how exactly I’m supposed to go about this and I’ve discovered there’s really no rhyme or reason. You were Patsy, Mom, Aunt Pat, Miss always late, and best of all you were Grandma. It just hit me that inly three people here truly know what that last one looks like, so I’m going to do my best to help everyone else understand. Grandma, probably your proudest title. I’m sure Mom was cool too but lets face it Skylar, Matthew, and I took the cake. 

For starters, you’re probably the funniest person I know. You bought me my first string bikini in the 5th grade and I don’t know what was better… seeing the look on Dads face when he saw how small it was or the look on everyone faces when we realized it said sweetness across the butt. Mind you I was 10. In the 7th grade you dropped me off to the first movie I’d see without a parent and before I got out of the car you insisted I put on some of your lipstick. You then proceeded to give me some pretty solid advice. You said: Rhyse Jordan if a man tries to take you, you kick him in the balls and run. That’s a direct quote by the way. Don’t even get me started on your facebook and instagram comments… I should probably apologize to everyone here for ever teaching you how to share a post… but lets face it a facebook with out Patsy just wouldn’t be nearly as fun. You have more fortitude than anyone else in the room. A trust in God that I’ve admired my whole life. You were just so sure. You had so much to be mad at him for and yet your faith never strayed. A fearless, Godly woman. That’s why I have no doubt in my mind you’re up there with RJ right now sippin’ on a cup of creamer with a dash of coffee, not a bug in sight, just enjoying the view! RJ, someone I wish I knew more about. Though I know one things for sure, y’alls love story will forever be my favorite. My entire life you never once talked about another man. I can only dream that one day I’ll have the pleasure of finding a love like that. Everything was always fair. If you went to Matthews game you came to watch me dance. If Sky road in the front seat last time then it was someone else’s turn. I found an old Christmas card yesterday where you wrote me a check for $14.37 because God forbid you didn’t spend the same amount on each grandkid. Grandma it’s okay we all know Skylar Dylar, your baby girl, is your favorite. 

I may be making this up but I like to think that you and I are quite similar. Now if you ask your oldest son he may say I’ve taken on some of your lesser qualities. For example: Our inability to throw anything away. Don’t they understand that someday we may need it? You see from the surface this habit is inconvenient, unnecessary, and seems kind of silly. You walk into her apartment and see an overwhelming amount of stuff. Now if I’m being honest with all of you this might be my most treasured quality of hers. You see every item has a story behind it and she was the absolute best storyteller. I know what I know about this family from asking about the three tea sets above the cabinets, the entertainment center she was convinced she could fit in that tiny living room, and the 1800 santy clauses in the closet she knows good and well who she was with and where she was when she got them. I know it’s a bunch of clutter, but it’s the clutter of her life. The memories made up of it and the people she shared them with. And boy did she love her people. Each and everyone of you sitting here today. There wasn’t a single person she met that she didn’t love with her whole heart. So Grandma, you hold onto all that stuff all you want. As long as you promise to tell me about it someday. 

My silent partner over here had a few words she wanted to share:

My Grandma Patsy was the only grandparent I had the opportunity to really make memories with and being her baby girl was quite the honor. She made me feel so loved. No matter how big or small an event was she made an appearance, and if not she had a good reason, words of encouragement, and an apology to go with it. Nearly every time I have exited any kind of stage she’s been there waiting to give me a hug and a kiss. She would tell me I was the best one on  the stage when I knew I’d missed a step or two. She would tell me how beautiful I was when at times I didn’t feel it. SHe loved people and she loved like no other. She never just knew of someone. If I mentioned a new friend or a new boy, by the end of the conversation she knew about their family, their grades, their hobbies, and whatever else the conversation unfolded. And I think we all know the conversations were never short. When I would get a call from my Grandma I knew it was time to find myself a seat and think about how my day really was because good never cut it. No matter what age, she would pick me up from school and never fail to ask: What did you learn in school today? And I’d always try and think of something because saying nothing never cut it either. I’ve never been much of a talker, but when we meet again I’m going to have so much to say I’m not sure she’ll know what to do with me. I’ll tell her all about my high school graduation, the one day she said she couldn’t miss. But I know she’ll be there hooting and hollering as loud as she wishes as she will always be my #1 fan. 

She was our biggest cheerleader. The three of us were luckier than most to have the relationship we did with her. She wasn’t just the old lady who’s idea of hanging out was reorganizing her very own, self manufactured holiday story. She was a friend. A very good one at that. For as long as I can remember we’ve set up her Christmas tree together, Garrett included. Still not sure how we went from failing to get the train on the ground to work to somehow thinking we could get a train attached to the middle of her tree to fully function. I hope it’s a tradition we keep. 

So did I do it? Do you have a better idea of what it looks like to be a grandchild of Patsy Lee Smith? I could probably go on for hours, but don’t worry I won’t do that. Instead I’ll leave you all with this:

I can’t repay the lessons that you taught when I was small

Or give you, gift for gift, the daily treasures I recall

I can’t return encouragement or loving words of praise

In quite the way you did for me in all my childhood days

But there’s one gift that I can give it’s all the love you’ve earned

For love is what you always taught and love is what I learned

So I remember all the good times

I won’t think about the sad

Treasure all the special moments 

Through the years we’ve always had 

And I will trust in Jesus 

I can promise this and more 

I will get a hug from Grandma 

Someday at heavens door

Forever your sunshine, 

Rhyse Jordan

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