Sunday, March 27, 2011


My Grandma died on Thursday morning.  The day before her birthday.  This was far from unexpected and Grandma was never alone; my sisters, mom and aunt and uncle kept a constant bedside vigil.  My mom says that practically the whole town came by Booker Annex Rest Home to say goodbye, from her hairdresser and the laundry person to friends and family.  In my mind, I imagine instead of a requiem, a quiet, loving and happy send-off.

A few years ago at Thanksgiving, I took a picture of her at the dining room table, talking to my sister Patti. She's telling a story and they (and I) are having coffee.  The dishes are done after supper, Grandpa and the men are in the living room watching sports, and the kids are playing in the bedrooms or outside.  Grandma is wearing one of her many gingham blouses.  There are other women in that kitchen and even more running around wrangling children.  The teenagers are doubtless out in the pasture somewhere away from adult eyes, not doing anything bad, just figuring out to establish their own identities.  I hope they look in the sheds in the trunks and bins and discover all the things we discovered when we were that age- farm equipment, leather goods and strange contraptions that don't work anymore.  So I took this picture, not really thinking of how important it might be to me someday.  Just my Grandma and my sister Patti, doing what we do. Weaving a tapestry of love one thread at a time.

I talked to Patti on Friday.  We expected to feel a huge hole in our lives, in our hearts.  This is the end of an era for us.  Both of our grandparents are gone now and the woman who was the rock of our family and the example we often follow in matters of kindness and compassion, is gone.  But we had had time to prepare.  I spent time with Grandma at Christmas.  Patti was there last weekend.  There was never anything left unsaid.  We both used to just call out to Grandma and Grandpa's house to say hello because we knew they would answer and we could say "I love you", " How are you?" and "I will see you soon".  Some days it was all talk about the weather.  It didn't matter. We stored up those memories and took those actions in preparation for the days to come.  For these days that have come.

I miss my Uncle Vernon, my Grandpa's  little brother. I miss my Grandpa and I miss my Grandma.  They taught us, through demonstration, how to be a family and how to care and cooperate with one another.  Grandma left something behind for us in the faces and actions and love reflected in her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even her great-great-grandchildren.  Hopefully this legacy is one we will pass on as well.

1 comment:

  1. Mindie,

    Sorry to hear that your grandma passed away. I will be praying for you.