On February 13, 2005 I got a call from my grandfather. He had taken my grandmother to the hospital and said that we all needed to come quickly. I called my parents and we all went. When we got there the doctors told us that her cancer was back and she might live 3 days but they really didn't expect her to make it through the night. For the next nine days I spent every day getting up early and taking my mom to the hospital and coming home late at night. During these nine days I learned some things that are very precious to me now.
At some point during those nine days my grandfather told me that they would have been married for 55 years in just a few more months. I watched him love on my grandmother's almost lifeless body and realized that even after 55 years of life together and being in their 70's it was still possible to be deeply in love with each other. My grandfather said to me a few weeks before he passed that he missed and loved Mom so much still, that was after she had been gone for six years.
When I was pregnant with Grace, we made the decision not to find out what we were having. I wanted a boy so badly and convinced myself that was what we were having (boy was I surprised!). Before I had her my grandmother gave me a gift one day, it was a box full of baby quilts that she had made. They were ALL pink except one. I laughed and told her I hated that I wouldn't get to use any of them except the red, yellow and blue one. She smiled and giggled also!! This is one of my favorite memories of her! :) She loved Grace!! Anytime we were with them no one else got to hold Grace and Grace was perfectly content to sit in her lap, even when she was able to run around and play she still stayed right there with Mom.
When I was a freshman in High School my grandmother was diagnosed with bone cancer. The doctors said she might live for 3 to 6 months. I remember praying, asking God to just let her live long enough to meet my children. Her cancer went into remission and she lived for nine more years. Grace turned two a month before she went into the hospital for the last time. During the last nine days of her life God reminded me of my prayer and even though she didn't meet JC and Hartly God did answer my prayer. Grace still remembers Mom and still sleeps with a stuffed pig that Mom gave her. The day before she passed we got approval from the nurses to bring Grace in to see Mom, even though she was unconscious, I felt the need for Grace to say goodbye to her. When we brought Grace into the room Mom opened her eyes, looked at Grace, smiled and shut her eyes for the last time.
As a child and even as a teenager I would go and spend many weekends and some weeks during the summer with my grandparents. I still have many fond memories of going to their house and spending Christmas together. Every Christmas Mom would buy herself a gift, wrap it and put it under the tree. It was always the kids job to pass out the presents and I still remember laughing when I would get the present that said To: Mom, From: Mom. I do not remember a Christmas without one of these presents! Since I have my own kids now I, too, buy myself a gift every year, wrap it and address it To: Mom, From: Mom and stick it under our tree!!
I am thankful for the memories that I have of my grandparents but more importantly I am thankful for the legacy of love, kindness, unselfishness, and faith in God that they both passed down to me and that I will, in return, pass down to my own kids and grand kids. I know that they are in heaven singing with a choir of angels and I look forward to the day when I will see them once again!!
|Mom and Grace, December 2003|
|Pa and Mom|
This is one of my favorite pictures of them together!!