Thursday, July 17, 2008

remembering grandma

Several of you know that I have a dear Grandma, my last living grandparent, who has been struggling the last few years. She went from being semi-independent in her own home to being very dependent on my parents, still in her home to finally going to a nursing home and eventually a rehab and hospice center. She struggled with lots of ailments over the past several years, from failing eyesight to weak muscles which led to dozens of injurious falls, budding alzheimers and all sorts of other conditions that come with old age. I think in the end, she just felt that her time here was up, and that she was ready to pass into the next life and be with her eternal companion who left her over 15 years ago.

She finally passed early yesterday morning.

With it comes relief that she's out of any pain and suffering and relief for my parents (and others) who have been caring for her for the past several years.

I spoke to her last week right after she'd been put on Hospice for the third time (she was a tough old bird...we often laughed that she'd outlive all of us!). I'm not positive she knew who I was, but our conversation went pretty well with only a few 'off' comments here and there. I had inquired if she remembered certain things and she remarked "Oh honey, my memory isn't very good any more, but I'm going to get that back, real soon." Later, I asked if she read or watched TV to pass the time to which she answered "no honey, my eyesight isn't very good right now, but I'm going to get that back, real soon."

I couldn't help but wonder if the veil was a little thinner this last week of her life and that she knew this earthly life with a failing mortal body was just about over, and that she'd soon receive her perfected body in the next life. Or there's always the possibility that she was in another time and place and didn't realize what was going on. I like to think that she knew exactly what was in store for her.

Things I remember about Grandma:

Staying at her house on occasional Christmas holidays and sleeping on the hide-a-bed in the living room.

Receiving all varieties of life savers from her and Grandpa Christmas morning.

Her glass dishes always filled with m&ms.

Her stuffed animal doggy that she kept at the foot of the couches, that she liked to call her 'guard dog'

Her reading me "One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish", either in person when we were there to visit, or on audio tapes that we sometimes exchanged when we were kids.

Her boxes and boxes of Harlequin romance novels.

That when we left her home from a vacation, she would stand out on her sidewalk and wave as we drove off, and continued to wave until our car was out of sight.

The shadow box in her living room that contained little pictures and things: she would hold us up and run thru each object, almost as a ritual, saying it as fast as she could as we giggled and giggled.

That when she laughed she would always cry.

That she loved having her feet massaged--she'd put on socks and we'd sit at her feet and tug and pull and massage...she loved it.

The little animals outside her Utah home that she loved to feed, and was always so concerned about.

This picture is from December 06 when my kids saw her last. She liked the kids to call her GG. We'll miss her, but we know she's in a better place.


Lorie said...

I am sorry for your lose, but am glad that she now has her eye sight and memories back.

Anonymous said...

Oh Amie, I to am sorry for your loss, but what a beautiful tribute to your Grandma! She sounded like a fun Grandma to have. Can you imagine the reunion on the other side after 15 years? Wow!

April said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories with your grandma. It made me think of all the wonderful memories I have with my grandparents and great grandma. I am so sorry for your loss. I am thinking of you and your family.

leaner said...

The thing about someone passing that is the hardest for me, is knowing that my children won't get to know that person.
As my grandma slowly deteriorates and I watch her, and listen to her, it makes me sad that she won't always be there, and yet happy that someday soon she won't hurt anymore and she will get to be with my grandpa who passed so long ago.
I am sure your Grandma is watching you and knowing how much you miss her already.

Christine said...

*tears* what beautiful memories. It makes me happy to know that we know exactly where she is right now. Ah, for a perfected body...

Crockpot Lady said...

I'm so sorry, Amie. You and your family are in my thoughts.

Jenna said...

She sounds like a wonderful lady. I'm happy for her that she is free of pain and has got to be loving being with her husband! I think all of us will get pretty anxious when we get to that point. I'm sure you'll really miss her, but we're so lucky to have the gospel in our lives to enlighten our understanding.

OneHappyfamily said...

Love your post! You have wonderful memories. You should videotape yourself and your memories for your boys in the future. Take care.

Mike & Kenia said...

Sorry for your loss. XOXOX for you
Mike, Kenia & kids

heather said...

Made me cry. Grandma's are the best. Love her cozy robe and slippers (smile).

Delfina said...

Oh Amie, I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. XOXO... Thanks for sharing all your memories, it made me cry to.

Carca said...

Sorry about your GMA, I am glad you have good memories of her!

Sher said...

Isn't it interesting about Grandma's? There's always specific things you'll always remember about them. It's so nice you were able to see her before her passing on. :) luv luv the scrap page btw!

Christine said...

Sorry to hear of your loss, but so glad to know she is not in pain anymore. Thanks for sharing your memories of her, it made me think of all the lovely things I love about my grandmother. =)