The ultimate mother

I sat by her hospital bedside, praying that her suffering would end, yet wishing we had more time with her. The room was packed with loved ones, people who flew in from all over the nation, all there to spend as much time as possible with Grandma before she passed away.

It was just so hard to believe that this strong woman, the rock of our family, would be leaving us so soon.

Beatrice Trautt is the most amazing woman I’ve ever known. She loved unconditionally, she was completely selfless and her entire life was dedicated to her family. I’ve never seen two people more in love than her and her husband, Robert.

They raised 11 children on a small, humble farm in Iron River, Wis. They both worked hard to provide for their family and never complained.

Never.

Grandpa always had a smile on his face and a glimmer in his eye, which shined even brighter every time he looked at Grandma. It was heart-breaking when Grandpa died of cancer in 1999 and now the thought of living without Grandma was too much to bear.

She had a gift. She was a genuine reflection of what true love is. When you spoke, she really listened, and she cared. She was happy for you when you experienced joy and when life knocked you down — she was the first one there to pick you back up.

Grandma and Grandpa lived in the same small farm home for 60 years. They didn’t have indoor plumbing or a phone. Grandma washed all of their clothes — and all of her children — in the old wash tub.

Her home and her yard were my favorite places in the world. It was peaceful place, where everyone was welcome and loved, and no one was judged. We got together there all the time for huge family picnics and gatherings.

And, she raised her children well. My aunts and uncles are incredible, giving, hard-working people who would give you the shirt off of their back if you needed it. And when the Trautts get together, we talk a lot, laugh a lot and we dance.

Trautts love to dance. We’ll break out in dance anywhere, even in the front yard with the music blaring from the car stereo. But there was nothing better than watching my Grandma and Grandpa dance. The way Grandpa looked at Grandma, with such love, always filled my heart with joy.

Grandpa and Grandpa Trautt had very little, but they were the richest people I know.

My favorite photo of them was taken at a family reunion, where they’re surrounded by their huge family of 63 grandchildren, 100 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. My daughter, Josephine Grace, is Grandma’s 100th great-grandchild. It’s an honor I am very proud of, and I plan to raise Josie, teaching her all the values that Grandma taught me. I only pray that someday I am half the woman my Grandmother was.

God called my Grandmother home on Mother’s Day, 2012. It’s the ultimate compliment to the ultimate mother. I know Grandpa was there to take her hand and finally have that dance with her. The waltz they’ve both been waiting for, for a long time. She waited 13 years to be with him again.

As I stood by her graveside, my family asked that I read her final words to her 11 children, which simply stated “I had a good life, and I’m glad I got to spend it with all of you.”

It’s been two years since Grandma joined Grandpa in heaven. She died at age 89. A Mother’s Day will never go by without me thinking of my Grandmother Beatrice.

The ultimate mother, the ultimate blessing, the ultimate example to our family of what a mother should be.

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