I was tired. My days had been long and my nights way too short. Driving down the road I was fighting fatigue brought on by the hypnotic view of the white lines on the road. This was a trip I was dreading. I had heard from a cousin that my grandma was in very poor health. This may be my last time to see her and I was determined to make this trip even though I was sleep deprived.
I turned the radio up and began to whistle along with the song that was on. Well, I say whistle, but the truth is I was only making noise – I’m not very good at whistling. But the music was helping me to stay awake.
My thoughts turned to the reason for this trip, my grandma. She had been such a big part of my youth spending about half of my summer vacation with her and grandpa every year. Grandpa had passed six years earlier and Grandma had gone down-hill ever since. My family was actually surprised she had lasted so long after his death. They had been together since their mid-teens and pretty much inseparable. They worked together to build their own house from the basement up. They owned their own business; he was the worker and she the bookkeeper. There were not many hours that they were apart.
I passed a sign that told me it was only a mile to the next rest area. I had to stop and get some caffeine to keep me awake. I pulled into the parking space as my phone rang. Putting the car into park I answered the call. It was my cousin and my grandma had just passed away. I guess she couldn’t wait any longer. The trip would now be for a funeral instead of a visit. I was hurting that I didn’t get to see her, but glad she was finally at peace. As I walked to the rest area the tears began to form.
Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – whistle
This week I said goodbye to a wonderful woman, my maternal grandmother. Like my other grandma I saw her as a strong woman in my life. And although she outlived the majority of the friends and family from the area there were still a handful of us there to celebrate her spirit and share stories.
It was agreed that her raspberries from the garden were much better than what the grocery store sold. She was particular about her yard too and would use an old rotary push mower to keep her lawn trimmed… and occasionally a pair of scissors. She went for the defensive side of things and not only would care for her lawn, but would remove weeds and twigs from neighbors yards so they would not end up in hers.
She was always talking about taking her vitamins and my sister and I never got candy from her, instead it was carob covered raisins and rosehip tea. Then there was also the cod liver oil she gave us whenever we stayed overnight…. If you have never had the “pleasure” you don’t know what you are missing, words just can’t describe it! (shudder)
She never drove that I know of, only walked. And she walked everywhere… two to three miles round trip to and from work, to the grocery store about 3 blocks away and carried all her groceries home, to see us and we were about a mile from her house. It never mattered if it was sun, rain, snow or windy she walked in it all.
I am sure going to miss her, but for living to 100 years old she had a full amazing life. Grandma, you will forever be missed, I love you!
*I want to apologize for not being very talkative lately… my depression has been worse lately and I just haven’t felt like doing much of anything. I will hopefully bounce back soon. In the meantime know that every like is sent with sincerity and I will comment again when the muse brings the words back.
I wanted to take a minute to yell HELP! Have any of you had experience with writing an obituary? My grandmother who turned 100 this past September passed away this week. Her only child (my mom) is gone so that leaves me and my sister as the closest relative. Grandma’s siblings are all gone. Her friends are only a few from the nursing home she has been living in. So my sister and I are helping to coordinate the memorial service.
I spent yesterday going through boxes of old pictures and snapshots trying to find moments captured with Grandma… she was not fond of the camera though. Today I scanned what I found and then searched a little bit more at my Dad’s house. I should be able to scan those in tomorrow. We will display the pictures at the memorial.
Then there is the memories we need to share at the service. If we are not comfortable with standing up and speaking the minister will read them for us. Neither my sister or I are comfortable speaking in groups, so we need to write those up for the minister.
The hardest part of all of this is that all those memories of Grandma make me miss her and feel like there should have been more that I could have done while she was here. Then I think of the others I loved who have left us, my Mom, my other Grandma and Grandpa… all gone. Even my ex-husband who left us too early. So before I know it I am all worked up and a mess.
But the worst part… I haven’t really cried yet. I feel like I am broken somehow. A few tears here and there but not a real cry. My doctor tells me the tears will come, probably when I am not ready for them. I do remember after my Mom passed away it was a lot of little things that turned the tears on for me… seeing that first baby after she died (Mom loved kids), a favorite song of hers on the radio, something on TV she would have loved to have seen, etc.
I will make it through all my duties and get though the service I know, but I am afraid if I slow down too much now I will never get things done. But seriously… have any of you ever written an obituary? I could use a few pointers.
The kids are all in school, there is a growing crisp in the air. Football games and shorter days fill the weeks. It is September. I have accomplished another month of acknowledging my happiness and gratitude every day. Join me as I continue my goal of one year on this journey. Please join in with your happiness and gratitude in the comments or your own blog post. No matter how bad the day is there is always something worthwhile in the day.
Today turned out perfect. We had the help of a great nursing home staff help us have an outstanding 100th birthday party for my grandma. She is a big fan of the Iowa State Cyclones as she worked at the campus for many years. So the staff arranged that the head coach of the basketball team would come and wish grandma a happy birthday. She seemed very happy and all the residence seemed to enjoy themselves. It made me happy to know this birthday was not overlooked for her.
The weather today was amazing. Highs just in the 70’s and a nice light breeze. We had windows open again and I got to hear the birds singing. I am always grateful for a day of fresh air!
Now I need to get some sleep to be ready for the apartment inspections tomorrow. As always remember to find your happiness and feel your gratitude. Have a good night/day!
She was always on the go
From here to there
With a plan on her mind
She had a certain kind of moxie
That let her tackle any problem
Then disease came and robbed her body
And slowly claimed her mind
I will always remember the woman she was
And not the shell of frailty she became
She will always be special to me