Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Gram

I've been blessed in my life to have a wonderful grandmother that was geographically close by during my childhood, and that I have remained in close contact with as an adult. I have a zillion memories of her being at birthdays, holidays, daily life, and even early on Christmas morning she and my grandfather would be perched on the couch, waiting to see our faces when we came downstairs to see what was under the tree. She was there when I was in labor with my first baby, and has enjoyed each new life that has joined our family. If we had ever had a second daughter, she would have had my gram's name as part of hers. Too bad I didn't think of that on the first girl, eh? ;)

In her older age there have been several times when we've been seriously concerned about her health and wondered how long she'd be with us. Once I drove by myself with 3 small children (ages 5, 2, and an infant) over 12 hours to stay with her and help take care of her because I was so concerned. My siblings have done similar things as well. She's the kind of grandmother that brings out that kind of concern and loyalty, I guess.

She's got dementia now, so each visit I wonder if this will be the last one where she will know who we are. Thankfully, she always does know us, which is fairly amazing seeing as how there are 6 growing children, 4 of whom are young boys very close in age. For those not used to our family, it can be challenging to keep track of who's who. Somehow she gets through those visits without confusing any names. Which is more than I can say for myself some days. :)

My Gram is now almost 86 years old and not doing well. She was recently hospitalized, and is now back at my mom's house (12 hours away from me). Hospice care is getting involved in her care. Which points to something I don't like thinking about.

I called Gram today. She sounded so weak and tired. But she was happy to hear from me. We talked for awhile and then she said she had to go rest because she was so tired. She told me she loved me in a way that made me wonder if she might think this could be her last opportunity to say it. Which got me crying.

I've known for a long time that my gram is getting old and is not in good health. Most of her friends have died. She has long wondered what God was keeping her on earth for. She's in pain a lot, and cannot do much of anything without a real struggle.

Today when I talked to her, I felt like I could smell her Gram scent, that is probably embedded in my brain from my infancy. The thought of having her absent from my regular life is hard. She is a really important and hugely-loved part of my family.

A few weeks ago the kids and I got talking about what life would be like someday when they are grown up and have kids. They started speculating on what my husband and I would be called when the time comes for a special grandparent name. Granny? MaMaw? Grandmother? I could think of nothing I'd rather be as a grandmother than Gram.

1 comment:

Mimi said...