Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Grandma


This is a picture, from probably 20 years ago, of my grandma.

She passed away one week ago.

It was a surprise, but also not a huge surprise.

Grandma was a fixture throughout my childhood, teen years, young adulthood, and she was very excited about Peanut.

She outlived her husband by 27 years; most of that time she lived alone, in the house they had built together when my dad was a boy.

A few years ago, as her health was declining, and her driving skills were becoming more and more questionable, we helped her move into an apartment in a retirement home/assisted living/nursing home facility where seniors move in while independent and then can later be transferred throughout the facility into higher levels of care as needed.

Grandma never moved from the apartment, but she did acquire round-the-clock sitters who would help her with meals and dressing and all sorts of things.

She began using a walker or a wheelchair to go out.

Sitting for long periods of time began to bother her.

Her eyesight was so poor she could no longer enjoy reading, a frequent pass-time of hers. She had surgery a couple years ago to remove the lense placed in her eye during a cataract surgery when it had fallen/slipped loose -- she had outlived the normal life span of the cataract surgery.

When she first heard that I was engaged to sweet hubby, she said, "I'd like to be happy for you, but that (Chile) is too far away." She was thrilled when we moved home to get married, and sweet hubby became one of her favorite visitors.

She kept the little stuffed dog that my sister gave her for christmas or her birthday one year a long time ago, that had batteries and yapped and did a flip after barking at you, even after it stopped working, and moved it with her to the retirement home.

The year I started college, after Thanksgiving dinner, she pulled me aside for a serious conversation. "I'm very worried about you not joining a sorority. How will you meet men?"

Sweet hubby and I went to visit her at her house shortly after sweet hubby had arrived in the states. She had me try on her engagement ring, and offered to leave it to me one day, since she didn't think sweet hubby would ever be able to afford to buy me one. When she had her eye surgery, she was so worried she went ahead and gave me the ring. (I wear it, too -- it is a beautiful ring!)

She taught my siblings and me to play canasta when we were little, and also how to shuffle. My students are constantly in awe of my card shuffling skills.

Though her tongue could bite, at heart were always the best intentions -- corrections of letters mailed to her from summer camp, with the intention of us having better grammar or spelling; constant reminders of manners at the dinner table; flagging down my friends to have them return and make their beds at the beach house....She had character and an interesting (unconventional) way of showing her love for us.

She will be greatly missed.

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