Monday, May 12, 2008

May 12, 2008

I have such a mix of emotions today. My sister called a bit ago to let me know that my grandmother died this morning. She was 96 years old but she would have been 97 in five more days. She had been in quite a bit of pain from the many cracked and broken bones she had had over the years, as she had osteoporosis for quite a number of years. She was a bit confused of late because of the pain medication. She had gotten to a point where she could no longer get around without assistance and she had been eating very little for a couple of weeks.

She had been in an assisted living facility she had to move out because she could no longer take care of herself to the point they required. My dad and his wife took her back to her own house a week or two ago and they moved in with her to take care of her, along with help from my uncle, aunt, sister and almost daily check-ins from nursing staff. She really wanted to be home so it is wonderful that they were able to take her home and care for her until she passed away and that she was able to be home when she died. She was with it enough to know she was home, for a few days anyway.

So, I am very joyful for her, that she is no longer in pain, no longer suffering and unable to do the things she enjoyed so much. She was an avid reader and, for many years, that was about all she was able to do for enjoyment but she had lost her eyesight to the point where she could no longer read much over the past number of months. I am very joyful for her, that she is in heaven and with my grandpa, who died quite a number of years ago and whom she never stopped missing. She missed him so much. She told me once, when he had been gone about 5 years or so, that people had told her that it would get easier as the years went by but it had not. They had been married since she was very young, maybe 17 or 18 years old I guess. I think he may have been gone around 10 years now.

She was such a wonderful Christian lady and such a great example. She loved the Lord so much. My sister told me that one of the workers at the assisted living place had told her that she (the worker) came in to check on grandma and grandma didn't know the worker was in there yet and the worker heard grandma just a singing away. The worker asked grandma what she was doing and grandma told her "I'm singing with the angels". She loved to sing the old hymns and my sister would sit and sing them with her when she went for visits.

She was a hard worker too. She and my grandpa had around 400 acres of land that they raised cattle on for many many years. At one time, they had a dairy and chickens and pigs and stuff but for as long as I can remember they only had cattle (not dairy cattle). When I was little, they always had a big garden and us kids would help to snap the green beans and shuck the corn in the summer time. We would always go stay with them for a week in the summer. It was a wonderful place to spend a week every summer in childhood, much like something you would read about in a book. I would always try to tame the baby kittens that would inevitably be running around the farm wild. We would go fishing at the many ponds, pick blackberries and play in the small wooded areas. We would chase after grandpa and follow him around so we would not miss out on any trips out into the fields to 'check the cows'. When we were big enough, we would open and close all of the gates for him, so he probably loved having us around during those years.

My grandmother could fix quite a huge, down home, wonderful meal. She could cook everything up from scratch in no time at all and, boy, was it good. She had some great stories too, about her childhood and what things were like back then.

Overall, she was just one of those really good, wholesome people. She was well loved by many and will be missed.

So I am sad because I will miss her dearly. It just seems odd to think that she will not be here anymore. But I am happy and joyful for her. As my Houston pastor, Dr. Ed Young, used to say, she has graduated and is now with our heavenly Father.

And now I have to go because the boys have awakened early and it sounds like they are tearing the place up upstairs. They are doing great and we had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend. More about that at another time, along with some cute pictures.

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