Leola Yates Smith: In Loving Memory

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My husband’s grandmother passed away and we traveled to Utah for the funeral.

The service was beautiful.  Mormon funerals are rejuvenating.

I have found myself repeatedly reflecting on the things that were said of this lovely woman.  She could have been a model or an actress.  She chose to be a mother and a wife.

Leola didn’t need to be the center of attention.  She served others.  I was so touched by the accounts of how she spent her days nurturing.  She went to great lengths to surprise her daughters with home-made Christmas dresses.  She would hide the fabrics and switch the thread out of the sewing machine so her little ladies wouldn’t know the color of the gowns.  She would blind fold them for fittings and insisted that they wear gloves so they couldn’t even feel the fabric.  She made the gift special with the anticipation of it.  She made her gift beautiful with the workmanship of her own hands.  There’s something to be said of that.

I was also moved by the remembrance her daughter gave of a chance visit with Leola.  The daughter stopped by the family home near lunch time and found Leola plating 40 lunches for the widows and widowers in their church congregation.  She didn’t pin cute pics to Pinterest on a lazy afternoon at home, she served. (BTW, pinning cute pics to Pinterest is exactly what I did this afternoon. That site is addictive. I guess I’m a work in progress, but you already knew that…)

Leola looked outside herself.  Bringing lunch to widows and widowers is such a small thing in the eyes of the world, such a great service to someone who feels forgotten.  I think that is what a true nurturer is—what a true Christian is.  I was so humbled by these thoughts.

That example has become the essence of homemaking to me.  I want to live like she did.



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