Since my grandmother, Donna Ruth, passed away eight years ago, we gather together near her birthday and whip up all of the recipes she left behind. I could spend a few blog posts on Donna Ruth and the relationship I had with her, for sure. (At least a handful would be how I would give anything for her to meet Ella, if only for a moment.) She could feed a soul like no other. Her meals could uplift a bad day, cure a cold or a broken heart. She had an amazing way of doing the Lord's work through her food.
We wanted to make sure that in some way, her gift continued. And so it does. We gather from all parts with Donna Ruth comfort food in hand, and the group photo keeps getting bigger and bigger! And we eat and laugh and reminisce. Ella met some of her people for the very first time. It warmed our hearts.
With cousins Kaia and Alyssa.
Ella and Marie chatting in the kitchen, munching on the well-known sugar cookies.
Ella with her cousins Nicole and Matthew.
Perhaps my favorite from the entire day, Ella with Uncle JB.
Even with a costume change into pajamas, she was still going strong. Her cousins were so good with her.
If Donna Ruth could, she would have called me early Sunday morning to re-hash the festivities. With tears of joy, she would have talked about the pride and love she felt for her tribe. The conversation would have started, "Now Dolly (her term of endearment for yours truly), I want to talk about how wonderful yesterday was for me..." When it was important, the conversation always started out "Now..."
One day we will get to tell her all about it. Until then, we'll keep cooking, baking and gathering.