Friday, March 27, 2009

My Grandma

I was watching my "DVR'd" episode of Grey's Anatomy today; it had the story of a old woman who dies after 3 years of having "a month to live." Her family is frustrated and worn out. I am not an overly sentimental person but the character said of her family, "they're my people, they are inpatient, but they are my people. Having people is better than not having people."
I have to say it made me cry. My Grandma Bettie Joe used to refer to "her people." Quite a feat for someone who was: adopted, struggled with inter-personal relationships, was rejected in her quest to discover her biologic family, lost her husband to cancer at age 39, raised her daughter alone in a time when single parenting wasn't normal, lost her son to cancer at age 68, and lived alone most of her life. She was Cantankerous and often even rude BUT, her heart was AMAZING. She loved people, she cared beyond imagination, she would give whatever she had for whoever was in need. She had never had a good example of how to love people and be "nice" --- so, she loved people, and wasn't nice most of the time. But, again, I say she was amazing. In her retired years, especially as her sight was waining, she read her Large-Print, falling apart Bible with a magnifying glass and she prayed most of the day; it was not a prayer you would hear in a church but a prayer that was honest and conversational with Jesus. A prayer centered around the needs of those she loved and everything she was thankful for. She also wrote my kids a letter EVERY week to tell them stories, give them history lessons, and to connect with them. (I have saved every one.)
Two years ago today, we buried her (on my birthday). Her sickness and death were sudden. She went to the hospital after a fall and died 5 days later from complications of a undiagnosed cancer, at age 81. She lived in her own home until she went into the hospital, and once she was sick, stayed alive until all her closest relatives had said their "good-byes." She didn't want to be in a nursing home and she didn't want assisted living. She was too independent for that. She lived on her terms and she died on her terms. She wasn't perfect, and who of us is?? But I can say, I loved her, I miss her, I can't wait to see her again in heaven and I am honored to remember her on my birthday.

1 comment:

Mike Ritter said...

We watched it last night. That was touching when she woke up. I thought the look of "it's over" on the kids' faces was something. "Can we stay a little longer?" Well done. I haven't watched the show in a year, but this was a good one to catch.