December 7, 2014

End of and Era

Mom and Grandma at the Relay for Life June 2012, 2 years ago
It's not an actual era, but it feels like one.

About a two years ago, my Grandma was very sick and survived her congestive heart failure and pneumonia.  She hasn't really been the same since then.  Her body has gone down hill.  She was not eating enough calories to keep herself going.  She needed constant care, which my amazing mom and our amazing home care woman gave to her.  In the past six months she has been admitted to the hospital for a collapsed lung twice.

Last month she had her last night with us.

Pop and Grandma
Some how I just knew it was going to be then.  I was driving with my youngest over to his school's book fair, and I just got an overwhelming feeling that I needed to go and see her.  I was wracking my brain, trying to find time to get over there.  About half an hour later my Dad called.  My Grandma was gone.  I felt guilt over not going to see her more often.  I felt overwhelming sadness and relief.  Grandma had Parkinson's Disease and problems with her lungs.  She has survived so many things.
 My Pop died in 1987 from cancer and still she kept living.  She traveled all over the world.  She survived a heart attack, cancer, and Parkinson's.  She was witty right to the end.
A quote from my cousin to show Grandma's wit.  "I went to visit Grandma several months back and we sat and talked about what she was doing when she was my age. She said, "I was taking care of my three children.  I thought of having a fourth one, but the last one was such a pain, I didn't think I could handle another one.", as she glanced over with a grin, obviously hoping my Aunt was in ear shot.  Always a feisty one, she was." 
Grandma was the matriarch of our family.  She had 3 children, 8 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and 3 great, great-children.  She also "adopted" into our family many children and grandchildren.  Every year until our family became too big we would go to Grandma's small two bedroom house to celebrate Christmas together.  All my life she has been at the center of things in our family.  Even at the end, my mother's home became the center because that's where Grandma lived.  Family would come to visit her.  To sit and talk with her or just watch one of her favorite shows or the baseball game together.  Nobody is more loved than my Grandma.  And she shared that love with everyone who came into her life.

Growing up my dad was in the Navy and often away, my mother was a teacher and the job kept her very busy.  My sister and I were very lucky to have our Grandparents to help care for us.  When I was in preschool, Pop would pick me up and take me for ice cream and over to the playground.  When it was time for me to start Kindergarten, I didn't want to go.  Grandma would drive me to school everyday and sit outside my classroom, so I would stay at school.  Grandma would take us to our religious education classes at church every week.  The church was at the top of a long hill.  She named that hill for me "Patricia Hill".  As my sister and I got older, we would ride the bus to Grandma's house after school.  I remember how much fun we had there.  She would let us play all over the house and out in her yard.

Eight years ago we celebrated Grandma's 90th birthday with a huge party.  Family and friends gathered together to party with this amazing woman.  She didn't want to have a big event for fear that she wouldn't live long enough for the next big milestone.  She was hoping for 100!
We did several family photos to capture the moment.
Grandma with all of her children and their spouses

Grandma with her grandchildren
Grandma with her great-grandchildren and
the first great-great-grandchild on the way
Christmas was always Grandma's favorite holiday.  She loved to get presents for everyone.  She loved watching our faces when we opened our gifts.  She loved to see the joy on our faces, because she knew she was making us happy.  This year is going to be especially hard, it will be our family's first Christmas with out Grandma.  I hope that she will be watching us having fun with family and friends and thinking "That's my family there.  I love seeing them happy."

Grandma you were so lucky to have such a wonderful family, but we were even luckier to have you.

~Earthy Mom

1 comment:

  1. just start to cry could hardly finish the blog, i miss so much