Friday, March 13, 2009


my great grandmother frances couldn't ever be described as the kind, loving, grandmother figure.

she's the harsh, mean, stubborn old woman that attacks people with her "pick-up" stick when she thinks they're getting ready to steal her stuff.

she's ninety-four years old...exactly 70 years older than me. she watched me from the time i was an infant until i was old enough for pre-school, and helped me earn the fattest toddler on the earth award because of her southern cooking (and seven course breakfasts).

she's born and raised in fayetteville, born on bear mountain in october of 1914.

her husband, my great grandpa james, passed close to 14 years ago. he was one of my favorite people on this earth and not a day goes by where i don't think of him and miss him terribly. he was that kind, gentle grandpa who wore white undershirts and smelled like aftershave.

they were complete opposites, but somehow that was a good balance for them; it worked.

yesterday when i was just about to dig into the spaghetti that john had made for dinner, my mom called. she said that on wednesday the caretakers at city hospital (where grandma frances was living) thought she had shingles. on thursday the doctor came and said that it wasn't was a very severe and aggressive staph infection. he called my grandma sue (frances' daughter) and told her the options: either they treat her and hope for the best, or they call in hospice and sedate her and wait out the 3-5 days tops that she had left to live.

i didn't cry when my mom told me this. i've known something like this was coming soon, and i think that all of us had prayed for a while that she'd be called Home because her life was miserable.

the part that made me cry, however, was when my mom told me that under no circumstance was i allowed to go visit her before she passed--everyone else could and be safe enough, but because i am pregnant, the risk of staph is too great.

i began to sob.

john pried me from the chair and took me to the loveseat and just held me while i cried, telling me the words i needed to hear.

i was sad i couldn't see her, sad she would never get to meet jonas, sad that she may die alone.

i had started a post basically saying that the waiting game was on...but this morning at 8:30am, she died.

she raised 5 children from that span from being in their mid 70s to mid 50s, survived the depression, and worked outside of the home in an era where it was almost unheard of. she was a crazy driver, and a mediocre cook (she would have been fantastic if she didn't just mix random things together :)). she went to fayetteville high school, and to this day could have sang you the alma mater. she loved to talk about when she kept me when i was little, and about our trips to Marvin's IGA off of school and 15th in fayetteville.

she wasn't kind, loving, gentle, or nice. she was hard, stubborn, and bull-headed.

and she was one of my favorite people on this earth.


Sadie said...

Oh Wendy
I am so so sorry to hear this. Rusty's grandma died just last week, my heart goes out to you and your family. Please know that I will be praying and thinking about you guys.

Kim J said...

I'm so sorry to hear this sweetie. It is very tough to lose a grandparent. Just remember her the way she was and the things you loved about her, the stuff that made you smile and laugh. She would want you to remember her in a happy way. She is at peace now and in no more pain. It is sad that she didn't get to meet Jonas. I have that saddness about my grandmas too. You can tell Jonas all about her. He'll love her as you did!

ness said...

I'm so seems like my babies all came into my world when I was losing someone else. Life is so odd like that. I'm sorry she didn't get to meet Jonas. I know you will savor your memories of her.

Jaye T. said...

My heart goes out to you...I'm so sorry that you couldn't be by your grandmothers side & say good-bye. It's hard not being able to feel like you can do anything. How are you doing? PLEASE let me know if you need anything. Love ya girl!