Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Saying Goodbye

(One of my favorite pictures of her as a girl)
Yesterday we laid my grandmother to rest. While I am grateful and rejoicing that she is no longer suffering, I am still sad that I won't see her anymore.

Even though her health had been declining for years, her death still came as a shock to me. At 12 she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes and had many health issues as a result. Doctors told her not to expect to live a full life as a result but she defied them all and died one day short of her 75th birthday.

She was a remarkable woman, though her life wasn't always easy, she was a very determined soul. She graduated from high school at 16 and attended Rice University on a full scholarship.  She graduated with a B.A. in English at 21 and married my grandfather the same weekend. After only 16 years of marriage my grandfather died unexpectedly and she was left to raise my father and 2 uncles without him.  She did what she had to do, she leaned on family, went back to work and yet still found plenty of time for her boys.

She was thrilled when I was born, her first granddaughter. Some of my memories are her making me lemon cake for my birthdays because at the time it was my favorite and no one made it like her.  I remember the time she came to get me after work to drive me to my great-grandmother's house for a week-long visit because my parents couldn't take me.  I had many fun weeks throughout the years when I got to spend time at her house. In the past few years she hasn't been able to drive because her eyesight was failing so I, among others, have taken her to various appointments.  She always worried that she was a burden but I told her I was happy to help her out since she had always been there for me growing up.

(My baptism - January 28, 1979)
Brandon and I were fortunate enough to be able to spend time with her once a week for the last 7 years.  Since her eyesight was poor, I would go over and fill a few days worth of insulin syringes for her.  We almost always stayed to visit, I know she was pretty lonely being confined to the house. She was sharp tongued and could talk a blue streak, we enjoyed discussing politics, current events, asking her about her life, and getting her to laugh. Brandon was one of the few who could get away with teasing her and so he did. With a twinkle in his eye, he would catch her off guard and make her laugh. She repaid Brandon by teasing him about his "love" for baseball.

I'm glad I was able to spend so much time with her and grateful to have known her through my adult life. I will miss her, we all will.

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