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Monday, May 03, 2010


The Mr's Grandma passed away a few weeks ago.

She had a tough last few weeks. She went into the hospital from her care facility where the doctors found that her kidneys were failing and she had congestive heart failure. Grandma was 94. She lived a long life, but the last few weeks were still pretty hard.

She went from the hospital into a nursing home. The Mr's parents found a nursing home in an afternoon, and she was transferred there the next day. Tough place. Nice enough, as places like that go, but these people are primarily waiting to die. And they do, on a fairly regular basis.

She shared a room with a reasonably young woman, who had apparently had a stroke. Really sad.

Grandma spent about a week there. The Mr and I were there every day. The Mr's parents were there when we weren't. The day she died, we brought her a Frosty from Wendy's, something she always enjoyed. She went downhill fast, and a few hours later The Mr's dad called to let us know he thought it would not be long. The Mr and I relieved his parents so they could have some dinner. Shortly after they left, she died, holding The Mr's hand. She may have been waiting for her daughter (The Mr's mom) to leave so she wouldn't have to be there. That's what I'm choosing to believe.

Grandma didn't lead a very happy life. By her own choice for the most part. She did have some real unhappiness. She grew up quite poor in a small town in Michigan. She married young, but divorced after about 5 years, something that didn't happen much at that time in that place. She remarried shortly after her divorce. They never made much money, I believe, much to the consternation of Grandma. She could never really get past these things, and made herself and those around her unhappy. For the majority of her life.

That being said, we can learn something from Grandma. We can learn to make the most of what life gives us, even if it isn't what we wanted. We can learn that family is important, and treating them well is what brings the joy to our relationships. We can learn that planning for your life is important, and living your life is also important.

We held a memorial service for her. The Mr sings in a men's choir at our church, and we both play in a handbell choir. Both groups performed for the service. Our niece, Grandma's great-granddaughter sang Amazing Grace. We put together a beautiful video, which was played at the beginning of the service. The video is a collection of photos throughout Grandma's life. Pretty impressive to think of all of the things that Grandma saw and all that she lived through.

(there is music to this, but I could not get that version to upload)

We wore red for the service - Grandma's favorite color was red - and we took pictures of the family afterwards.

This is the whole gang. Well, most of us. A few couldn't make it - one was recovering from heart surgery and could not fly and another was in Louisiana and could not get here. We did have Grandma in the shot though!

This is The Mr and I with his brother and wife. Love them!

And here is a shot of just "our side" of the family (not Grandma's other daughter and her folks). Please do NOT note how big The Girl and The Boy are getting. Scary.

Hold your family close while you have them. We are. We know how lucky we are to have each other. Rest in peace Grandma.

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