My Granny passed away yesterday. She was 94. Tough as nails she was. Relatively healthy until the last few months. She had a run in with bypass surgery many, many years ago - but was still raking leaves, digging up bushes, organizing pantries, cooking like a beast, moving boulders and any thing else in her way for a decade or more after her heart surgery. She was a pistol. She loved a HOT meal, her talk shows, talking politics, bragging about the mile she cranked out on the treadmill and how healthy she had eaten that day. It wasn't always healthy cause I have a fair amount of memories of her unzipping her pants after a meal cause she ate too much. Don't even get me started on the Granny bathroom stories. There are many. She was fighting a little dementia toward the end...but did I mention that she was 94? She was a bit ornery, a bit critical, a bit gassy....not exactly a Grandma from the movies. But she was mine. And I loved her.
She was my Mom's mother. And my mom and her sister were by Granny's side for the last few weeks. Mom said it was very hard. I bet it was. My mom's sister, Gail is a Hospice Nurse by trade so she was very prepared for what to expect. Granny lived with Gail so she had already been caring for her for several years. They made sure she was comfortable. They shared some laughs and some special time together. What a treasure.
Those two sisters stayed by their mom's side until the very end. What a gift that is to have people who love you right beside you as journey through the final stages of life. I know it was their honor and privilege to be there with her.
When I got the call that she had passed my first thought was of my mom and my Aunt Gail. I knew they were so sad to say goodbye to their mom. My second thought was of Jesus meeting Granny at the gates of Heaven. I imagined him saying "Good grief Wanda, you are hard headed. Now get in here and let me love you for eternity." I bet he did too.
There aren't many like my Granny. She was loved and will be missed. Rest in Peace, Granny.