Grandma. As I sit on my lunch break at work and think about the news that was texted to me concerning decisions that have been made with your healthcare, I reflect on all the times I myself have had to help families make the same decisions and get paperwork signed, and plans made…but regardless it doesn’t make it easier.
You are the last of the nine. Unlike most families and people I know I was blessed to start my life out with six grandparents and three great-grandparents. You’re bringing up the tail end of the era. For the longest time growning up I always thought that you and grandpa had just switched spouses, I didn’t understand divorce that well. Because to me Kenny and Ruby went together, they were both short and petite. Then I had the ‘ah-ha’ moment when I realized that you guys just both went totally opposite of what you had initially.
You taught us unfailing love in your care for RoseAnn. You never complained, you never made excuses to get rid of her, you never yelled or got mad when she had a seizure. You would tell us to help her to the floor and place her on her side, holding her until the seizure passed. You cared for her diligently until she passed away. Showing her God’s love on a daily bases, and when she would sing Jesus Loves Me, you knew she believed it. Of course she also sang “Don’t Mess with My Toot Toot”…not sure where she was going with that tune.
Your house was the gathering point for all of us. We would drop in unannounced, or drive by and see who was there and stop in to visit. We would sit in the dark with the windows cracked trying to get air circulation. Growing up it was the drop off and pick-up point for us. We would climb trees and play all day, running between your house and Granny’s. You saved us from the hornets nest Riley and Elmer Gene found while climbing the maple tree…yet would set black cat fireworks off in our hands, saying “just hold it here”. We all survived with all our arms and legs intact…so we’re all good. As we grew, and our family grew in number, the house was remodeled to make space; eventually we out grew your house and started doing separate family gatherings. But we always had ‘Grandma’s House’ to use as a ‘north star’ guidance point.
A lot of changes happened over the years. You started needing help taking care of you, so we signed up through American In Home to be your night time assistance. Sleeping in the inferno, because you were always cold — the heat would be on year round. Sitting in the dark, because who needs an overhead light on when you have a 25 watt lamp light on. And the best was the weather radio going off to let us know Oklahoma was having bad weather, yet you would tell me to be careful on the way to work because there was ‘bad weather’ out there <<in Oklahoma>> 🙄. Then the times you allowed me and Seneatha to commender the TV on Monday’s to watch The Batchelor, though you acted like you didn’t like it you kept us up to date when we missed a week…you ended up picking the one you thought should have won…or telling the TV what you thought about his/her choices. <smile>
You eventually moved from the corner house, and the dynamics of going to grandmas changed. But we could always count on sitting in the dark and being nice and cozy..Er, I mean HOT. You’ve lived a good life. You will be leaving behind a strong family that have proven that we can take a hit and keep moving. It may be a little slower, it may be a slightly different coarse, but we are stronger and more resilient. We are this way because we have learned from the best…our fearless, strong mother/grandmother. Love you forever and always…and it’s not ‘goodbye’ it’s just ‘see you later’.