It snowed the day my grandmother passed away. Not a lot, but enough to look pretty. My mom called early that morning, but the phone didn’t wake my up. It was January 17, 2016, almost a year after my grandmother had gotten sick. I stood outside watching the snow fall as my mom told me that at the age of 92 my grandmother had left this world. Thankfully, she passed peacefully in her sleep, never having to endure enough pain to require medicine.
At 91 years old, her body had started giving out. Congestive heart failure began to set in and the fibrosis in her lungs began to advance. She was soon placed on home oxygen and remained on it until she died. However, even with her failing health she remained in her home. She took care of herself as long as she could, using a walker to move around and keeping her mind occupied with knitting and watching TV. Her friends would call her daily and she would light up talking to them.
As her illness progressed my mother and uncle began staying with her. After a while, they would need to be there 24 hours a day. My mom taking the days, and my uncle staying at night. Still, my grandmother refused to leave her home. My cousin and my father would eventually stay with her occasionally to give my mom and uncle time off.
Even through it all, when various family members, myself included, would go to visit she was in good spirits. She would occasionally become depressed and wish that the Lord would take her. She tired of fighting and tired of “being a burden”. Everyone would tell her that she wasn’t a burden though. Because everyone loved her.
She was sweet and kind and funny and loved spending time with her loved ones. She was the nice old lady that strangers would buy her lunch for her just because she had a nice smile. And at 91, she would still drive herself to a little dinner for lunch and to church on Sundays. She was also a straight shooter and told it how it is all the time. But she would also know that no matter what, things would be okay and would often be heard saying, “Everything’s going to be okay.”
She was an amazing woman. She helped raise me and looked after my when my parents had to work. She divorced my biological grandfather due to his alcoholism. She raised her two children as well as her own sisters. She eventually married the man I would consider my grandfather. He would take me fishing and when he developed heart problems I would go to the mall with him early in the mornings to walk. In the afternoon she and I would watch Perry Mason, The Andy Griffith Show and Wheel of Fortune. She was smart too. She read more than anyone else I’ve ever known, aside from maybe my mother.
I’m going to miss her. Everyone that was blessed enough to know her is going to miss her.