The blog has been silent for a while. Life interrupted.
Two weekends ago we went to North Carolina for a few days. On Saturday morning as we were driving up, my mother called and said that my grandmother had a stroke. My grandmother has had several strokes and it seemed that this one was not as serious as the last had been. We continued on our trip and when we got to my mother’s house we went to the hospital and visited with my grandmother a bit.
Grandma & Me (and one of my mother’s extremely bad haircuts) approx. 1971
I visited with her a few times over the weekend but not as much as I would have liked. My mother hates being around hospitals, etc and she goes to great lengths to distract folks from going anywhere near such a place. But I did visit none the less and as I left NC, I felt that Grandma was doing better and would be back to her usual, cantankerous self in a matter of days.
We came back… had the big sale…. and all seemed well.
But they weren’t.
Grandma and Grandpap visiting. Anna Grace was four days old.
My mother called at the end of last week and stated that my grandmother’s kidneys were not functioning properly. The next day they were improved. But by the weekend her kidneys were failing again and she was no longer able to digest her food. At that point it was thought that she might only live a month or two.
Nursing school graduation. 1992
On Monday of this week, we were just having a lazy day. We went to Walmart to do the grocery shopping etc and while we were there, my mother called. The doctor felt that my grandmother would not live more than about 7 days and that hospice had been called in, etc. By lunchtime on Monday I was in my car heading back to North Carolina.
I visited with my grandmother on Monday night and she really wasn’t doing well. My mother was there and she just wanted to leave. She could not deal with seeing Grandma that way. I really wanted to be alone with my grandmother but it was not to be.
The next morning my mother was listing off all the places that she wanted to go and I just spoke up and said that I wanted to go to the hospital and she could meet me there later. It was the best decision I ever made.
My grandparents on their 50th anniversary.
They celebrated their 65th anniversary on May 16, 2008.
I went in and my grandmother looked better than she had the night before. She was more relaxed and just resting quietly. I told her all of the things I wanted her to know. I told her that regardless of the fact that her 2 adult children (of which my mother…. God bless her little pea pickin’ heart… is one) may be spittin’ and spattin’ knuckleheads who have rebelled against all that she stands for…. that she still has a legacy in me. A spiritual legacy. I told her that I am a woman of faith because of her. I told her that I would always remember her and I would tell Anna Grace all about her and that there was no way she would ever be forgotten. I prayed with her and told her over and over how much I loved her and how I would miss her terribly but it was okay if she wanted to go and just rest.
And I took out my knitting and did what we always did. The two of us would stay up late, just us, and talk about everything and everyone. No one was safe. We usually did this while she was sewing on something and I was looking at magazines. So, I started knitting and telling her everything that everyone was doing. Every bit of what was going on with everybody. And she quietly passed away.
My grandmother and my late Uncle Delma, her brother. 2006.
In my family…. we have a saying. It is an old south, deep south thing, I think. When you don’t know if you’ll see someone again you say “I’ll meet ya by the east gate.” In other words… I’ll see ya in heaven.
Meet ya by the east gate, Grandma.