Thursday, October 11, 2007


My Grandma died three weeks ago on September 21st 2007 at age ninety six. It still hasn't sunk in, even though we all knew it was coming. I guess I just took it for granted that she would always be around. She intended to be around, I think. Last I heard she was planning to match her sister's one hundred years. In the end I believe she just kind of tired of living and let go. She died around 12:15 A.M. and I can't get it out of my head that she waited till after midnight on purpose. September 20 is my birthday. Grandma was like that, she never wanted to be inconvenient in any way.

Some of my favorite memories:

I think my poor Grandma used to hold herself responsible for the success or failure of the many sporting teams she supported, but none more than the Huskers during football season. I'll never forget the time I called home during a game and my dad informed me that Grandma was hiding behind the fridge because the Huskers were losing. That still cracks me up.

When I was little my hair was very long and very fine but I had a LOT of it and it was always in tangles. I would throw a fit when my mom tried to brush it because it hurt so bad. My Grandma had the touch. On our visits to her house I looked forward to her sitting beside me and gently working through my hair till it was untangled and she could brush through it pain free. It was magical.

My Grandma had one sister and one brother. I never met her brother. When talking about her sister Grandma would often insinuate that her sister was the "good" girl and she was the "bad" girl. One afternoon my dad and I took Grandma on a drive through the small towns in eastern Nebraska where she grew up. She pointed out many landmarks to us including the spot where she and Grandad used to spend time "sparking" when they were dating. TMI Grandma.
After 9/11 I called my Grandma to get perspective on things. Among the things we discussed were Pearl Harbor, World War Two in general and the assassination of JFK. Perspective is a wonderful and healing thing. I am so thankful to have had access to it.

There are a lot of things I hope I will inherit from my Grandma eventually. Her selflessness. Her attitudes of tolerance and acceptance. Her love of family. Her love of reading; I still have stacks of books that she gave me. Her patronage of the Arts.

As I said before it hasn't really sunk in yet that she is gone but grief has a way of sneaking up on me. A week ago at church I was sitting there with a rotten attitude and not wanting to sing. Someone sat down behind me with a beautiful singing voice and my attitude did a one-eighty. Slowly, my thoughts drifted to my Grandma. I never heard her sing but everyone said what a beautiful Alto voice she had and out of nowhere I was fighting back tears. I was well on my way to some serious sobbing so I left and got control of myself. I think little things like that will creep up on me till we have time to grieve her as a family at her memorial service.

Above all, I am thankful for the time I got to spend with her and for the fact that she was able to meet all my children.

Rest in peace Grandma.


Shalee said...

Oh, I'm sorry that you've lost such a strong, beautiful woman in your life. I'm praying that God will grant you peace as you're grieving the loss of a favored friend.

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