Monday, January 21, 2008

My Grandmother

Tomorrow is the day that my grandmother died about three or four years ago now. So we are estranged by death now, I guess. Although there have been moments where I have thought she was about.

Right after she died, I drove to her house to sit on the stump that used to be "my" boison berry tree. As I was driving down her street, I swore that I smelled her rose perfume in the car with me. She was suffering, and the afternoon before I had visited her. She was unconscious and had pneumonia. I held her hand, and told her if she needed to go that we would all be okay. That I loved her and I would miss her, but I didn't want her to suffer. The next morning I was called and told that she had died.

In the last weeks when she was conscious, she did not recognize who I was. Sometimes she thought I was just a nice nurse that had come in to put extra blankets on her or call for some help. This didn't upset me, as I knew she had loved me in her life, and this was in no way caused by her. She had been suffering from Alzheimer's, which was the reason that she was moved to the nursing home from her home. Stoves suddenly become potential instruments of tragedy in these cases, especially with someone who used to be such a good cook, and could no longer remember that she shouldn't use the gas stove anymore:(

Grandma saw ALL but one of her brothers die before her. Their were eight brothers and sisters in her family, I think. Plus ones that may have died as infants or in childbirth. Grandma was the oldest, so this was like seeing her kids die before her in many ways, and also best friends.

Her sister in law, Aunt Sophie (I used to call her aunt soapy) died shortly after her robe caught on fire from her gas stove. She lived behind my grandmother, and I used to play in her yard with my second cousins. She was a very nice and loving family.

Watching my poor grandma grow old and then die, I realized how much sorrow comes with that. Grandma outlived her husband, and most of her peers (siblings and friends). It seems unfair somehow. I also know she did enjoy as much of life as she could right up to the end. She was always involved in activities and field trips. However, if she heard we were visiting, she would drop whatever it was she was doing.

I remember and love you Grandma.

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