Thursday, April 12, 2012

Good Bye, Grandma

Last Wednesday we celebrated my grandma's (on my Dad's side) 93rd birthday.
 We all had a great time.
The ladies at the adult family home my grandma was living in put on a delicious feast.
It was very festive with lots of laughter.  As usual we teased Grandma that she couldn't claim to be old until she hit at least 96...93 was only late middle age!  She always laughed at my jokes, even when she didn't understand them.
 But today my grandma died.  I am thankful for that last big party.*
After all, how many times do you get to see a wonderful lady blow out candles on their 93rd birthday ('cause lets face is a little old.)
All of us will miss her.  She was very excited to be finally meeting our new little one after 6 years of waiting with us.
She was the one that my siblings and cousins and I took turns spending the night at her house.  She always brought Ding Dongs for the ones left behind.  She'd take us for ice cream and walk half way to the bottom of the falls (I was at least 10 before I realized we were going about 1/2 mile and the bottom was only 3/4 mile down...but she said her knees...)  She'd buy us rock candy and took me to my cousin's horse shows.
I remember falling out of her car on the way home from church on one of my weekend visits because I'd unlatched everything...I just bounced.  After college I would take my laundry to her house and sit and watch Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and the Hallmark movie of the week while she did it for me.  (I'd been doing my own laundry since about age 8, so it was a real treat.  I'd try to help but she'd say...No.  This is what Grandmas are for!)

After I got married we would still pop on over whenever we could for a visit.  She always liked "Oak" better than my other boyfriends, she would say.  It meant a dinner out to KFC or depending on her mood Tony Romas.  Again she wouldn't let us pay...That is what being a Grandma is all about!

As the kids came we visited a little less often and gave her a little more notice of our coming, but we did see her as much as we could.  The kids thought of her as the Grandma with the dog and the fried chicken.  She'd give Oak $20 to go pick it up as she became less comfortable going out.

It has been only about a year since she stopped living on her own.  My aunt and dad finally settled her in a lovely adult family home with a "Sunflower" of their own.  We would still visit...and Minda (the home owner) would feed us.  Grandma was happy and comfortable there.

We thought she would live many, many more years.  93 is so very young.
We feel quite surprised and sad.  Yet very, very blessed to have such a wonderful grandmother in our lives for such a very long time.  Grandma, we will miss you.

*Though we had visited her only a few weeks before and IF we'd been in China my sister who hadn't seen her in 2 1/2 years would have been here for the party...but...


Catherine said...

So sorry for your loss. What a beautiful lady - inside and out!

Praying for you.

Tera said...

So sorry for you loss. I loved reading about your precious memories!

Christina said...

I'm so sorry. She was a very young looking 93. What great memories you had- and these are amazing pictures.

Andrea Dawn said...

A lovely tribute to your dear grandma. Sounds like hers was a life well lived. Peace and comfort to you and your family.

No Greater Love said...

Blah....I am crying. Nora, I feel so sad for you. I have been thinking about you all day....

You are heavy on my heart, my friend.

The Johnsons said...

How wonderful that the last vision of your Grandma is one of such joy and happiness and celebration. What a beautiful way to preserve her in you and your kids' memories.