Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My Grandmother

I have been so blessed in my life to have the lady in the picture as my Grandmother. Here she is shown with my Dad as a newborn, she was 19. If ever there was a "perfect" grandmother, she is it. All my life she has been there for me. Grandmother lived about 2 1/2 hours away from me when I was growing up in the 1960's-1970's, so I only got to see her on weekends, until school was out. And then I would go "up in the country" and stay with her and my grandfather for two weeks! If every child in the world could have spent two weeks "up in the country" with my grandparents, this world would be a much better place!

To get to her house you had to either drive your car across the creek, if it was low enough, or walk through a narrow path on the side of a hill to get to the swinging bridge. I vividly remember my grandfather carrying me in one arm and a bag of groceries in the other and crossing that bridge that was probably 2 stories high and two planks wide. The original house was built in 1796 and was made of logs. The kitchen was the original part of the house and it was very large, and you entered the attic from a set of very narrow curved steps in the kitchen. Up in the attic you could see the original logs. I loved the kitchen! Grandmother cooked on a mint green and white Tennessee Brand wood cook stove. Every morning Granddad would build the fire in the stove on his way out to feed the livestock. I would always listen so I could be up with him so I could find the eggs.( even though I hated the chickens, they would peck my toes) When we came back in, Grandmother would have already made breakfast. Granddad and I would sit out on the back porch and talk of "mice and men" before he would go to work as a prison guard at the prison that adjoined their farm.

Then Grandmother and I would straighten the house a little, then head out to the garden to pick fresh vegetables or weed or whatever needed doing in the garden. Grandmother passed her love of gardening and being outside to me. It has to be really cold, for me not to go outside every day and do some kind of gardening.

We would walk down beside the creek and either swim in the "deep hole" or go fishing. We would always catch fish they called "red eyes". I'm not sure what exactly they were, but we would have them for dinner! The bad thing about swimming in the creek were the leeches. But we would just pick them off, like it was nothing! Wouldn't kids today freak out!

I never had many toys at my Grandmothers house. I played with old dishes that Grandmother would give me and I would sit under the tree and play "restaurant" all day long. My Granddad made me a swing in the tree as well. Once when their chuch replaced their pews, Granddad brought two of the old ones home and made a wooden sliding board from them!

But what I loved to do the most was play with my paper dolls. These were not the kind you bought and cut out, these were cut out of the Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs. My Grandmother and I would sit for hours cutting out dolls and furniture for their houses (made out of shoe boxes). I could hardly wait for the new catalogs to come in the mail, because that meant I got the old one!

As you can tell with this epic length post, my Grandmother played a huge role in my life. When my mother died when I was 16, my Grandmother would call and check on us at least a couple times a week, and would come down to our house every other weekend. When my Granddad died 17 years ago, she moved out of the old house and moved to our town so that we could all be together and watch out for each other.

My Grandmother is now 96 years old and until a month ago, lived in her neat little ranch style house that had the prettiest yard and flowers on her street. Then she fell and broke her hip. The doctors did a complete hip replacement because she was very healthy and felt she would recover. But she hasn't. A blood clot has formed in her lungs and they have been working all week trying to get it to dissolve. She is having some trouble breathing. But the worst part is that she now has dementia. She doesn't always know who we are. She can't remember where she is. The images in her mind torment her.

She has never been a very large woman. She is only 5' tall and has weighed at the most 105 lbs.
Now she is so tiny. She will not eat. They are feeding her through her veins.

This is heartbreaking for me. She has always been my crutch. I go to the hospital every day and see her getting further away from reality. She is tired, she is tired of fighting. I hope that now, I am being a crutch for her.




Tomatoe Creek Prims said...

I'm so glad that I came to your blog to leave a comment otherwise I probably wouldn't have read about your grandmother. How lucky your are to have had her, I never had mother's mom who by BTW I'm named after, died at the age of 46 so I never new her but I'm sure she would have been just like yours! You had a wonderful childhood with her that's the way I want my 3 gradaughters to remember me.

Blessings Rondell

Primgal55 said...

Oh Linda,

I am so sorry your dear grandmother is suffering so. I can not imagine how hard it is for you and others to see. How lucky she is to have you as her crutch now. I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.

hugs, Linda

PS - love the idea about calling home! I am going to start doing that too!

Libby said...

It is easy to feel from the warmth of your words just how very much you love and admire your grandma . . . I'll keep you both in my thoughts *s*

Kelli said...

I enjoyed every word of your touching post, Linda. Your grandmother is so very special and what wonderful memories you have of your times together. I am praying for her recovery. (((hugs)))

Katy said...

Hello! I wanted to stop and thank you for your sweet comment on my blog!!! I really appreciate it! i hope you are having a lovely week! :)

Mam and Lizi said...

Oh, LInda, what a moving message to honor your grandmother. I can see now how you've treasured her. I cannot say that I understand how you fee -- I don't. I pray that God will give comfort in this sad and difficult time for you.
Love, Nancy

Susie said...

Dear Linda,
This was such a moving post about your beloved Grandma and your happy childhood memories. Such a wonderful tribute to her.
I do understand how terribly difficult it is to watch a loved one with dementia.
I've said a prayer for your Grandma and for you too.

Bovey Belle said...

Dear Linda, what a wonderful tribute to your grandmother, who has obviously been a tower of strength to you throughout her life. I hope she rallies yet, but hold on to those special, happy memories to sustain you right now. HUGS, Jennie

Hummingbird Chats said...

The love of a grandmother is the best. When ever my father would go overseas and we can't go with him, we always went to live at grandma's house. I was so glad that I had her until was was in my thirty's. I go and get my grand daughters once a week and talk to them almost everyday. Katie

PEA said...

Dearest Linda,

What a beautiful post in tribute to your dear grandmother and I'm so sorry to hear that she's doing so poorly now. I can feel your pain at having to watch her suffer like that. You're there for her, that's the important thing, just like she was always there for you. My prayers are for your dear gran and for you! xoxo

Mountain Mama said...

Your post is just beautiful. I had a grandma like yours, so I understand how much she means to you.
I'm so sorry she is having such a bad time now and pray the Lord will strengthen and comfort you both.
All the sweet memories will sustain you.

TinaTx said...

I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother. She sounds like a wonderful woman and I'm sure you feel lucky to have had her in your life. I lost my grandmother a couple of years ago and I still miss her every day. It really is hard to see them in the hospital and not be able to do anything for them. Hang in there.