Meet You at the East Gate

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.

41 responses

  1. I’m crying and laughing. Crying with you for having to say goodbye (for now) to Grandma, but laughing hysterically at THE HAIR. I’m not sure which one cracks me up more…circa 1971 or circa 1992. Anyways, I’ll look forward to meeting Grandma by the east gate too!

  2. I’m glad you got to say goodbye. One of my deepest sorrows is that I didn’t get to say goodbye to my grandmother. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  3. I am so glad you had the good times and time with you grandmother. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  4. I’m crying too, so beautifully written about your last hours with your grandma. What a wonderful relationship you had. Thoughts are with you.

  5. What a wonderful story. And what a blessing from God that you had that time alone with your grandma to let her know all the things that were in your heart. What riches she leaves behind in you and Anna Grace!

  6. I’m sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful post and I’m glad that you had that last day with your grandmother. You gave her a wonderful gift and I hope you find peace in your memories of all the times you spent with her.

  7. Kris,
    I am so sorry for your loss.
    And like others have said, what a beautiful & moving tribute to your grandmother.

  8. Kris, I’m sorry for your loss. But so blessed by your story and by the fact that you were there with her. She was able to rest because you were there, I’m sure of it.

  9. I am so glad you got that bit of time.. and so glad that you are able to celebrate your Grandma’s life by carrying on the legacy she left you.

  10. Kris, I know how you feel about wanting to be with your grandma – my dad has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s withing the past few months and has gone downhill steadily. We had him in the hospital a couple of weeks ago and now am battling with kidney problems. He is still alert and all, but it’s like I NEED to see him all of the time – like it will be the last time I see him. Obviously, he doesn’t know that – he is just really happy that I have been coming to see them so much.

    I am so glad you got to see grandma. Sometimes, people just need to be told that it is ok to let go. You and your family are in my prayers always.

    Darla – Detroit

  11. What a wonderful thing you did for your grandma. Sending her off in peace and comfort, knowing she is loved and will be remembered is really important. I’m glad you made the time to go with her. You’re a good granddaughter, daughter, and mother. So sorry for your loss.

  12. My thoughts and prayers for your family…what a tribute with the pictures you have sharing the whole story with us…your love and devotion and the peaceful way your grandma went with you by her side.I can imagine the pain you are feeling right now…peace be with you and your family!

  13. Kris – I’m so sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing your wonderful grandma with all of us. What a wonderful thing that you did though staying with her in her time of need and that will always be remembered by all.


  14. I didn’t plan on crying but your post really touched me. What sweet words for your grandmother to leave this world holding onto. I know it must have been special to be there with her and help her peacefully go home.

  15. What a beautiful tribute to your grandmother. I’m so sorry for your loss. And like the poster above me, this touched me and brought tears to my eyes. Hugs to you.

  16. Kris, I’m so sorry for your loss but what a blessing to share your Grandmother’s final moments with her…when the inevitable occurs how wonderful that your Grandmother could do it in such a loving, spiritual way because of what you shared.

    What a lovely tribute, she must have been something special to produce a granddaughter like you.

  17. I’m so sorry. She sounds like a terrific woman, and I’m very, very glad for you that you got to spend that time telling her just how wonderful she was and what an influence on your life she has had.


  18. What a wonderful tribute post to your Grandma!! I love that saying, “I’ll meet you by the East gate.”

  19. How wonderful that you were blessed to be there with your Grandma as she passed. You were certainly a comfort for her, and I know it meant the world to you. Bless you, and my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. ~Suzy

  20. I am very sorry for your loss. My own Grandmother’s passing has been heavy on my mind lately (she went in 1999). I think my day is better just knowing a bit about your Grandma. Take care.

  21. I just got back into town and catching up on news. I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother. It is wonderful that you were able to spend those last hours with her. I’ll keep you and your family in my prayers.
    And I love your “east gate” saying!

  22. Kris,
    this was a wonderful tribute to your Grandmother and I am very happy for you that you were able to spend the time with her… and look forward to utilizing the east gate with my friends and family as well
    lots and lots of hugs
    connected to you thru ravelry – eyeknit4u58

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