Friday, May 16, 2008

All My Grandmas

I am a product of a divorced home. For all the reasons you may think, it stunk as a child, but there was a hidden blessing. All my Grandmas.

There was my maternal grandmother, Anna Marie, who I had from the second I was born and loved to the moon and back. She was my friend, traveling companion and a solid Christian whose guidance lead me to the Lord. She died last April after a year fighting a nasty, fatal cancer.

My paternal grandmother Mary was always the one to make you laugh, sometimes out of sheer frustration, but usually because she was just good natured and silly. She was tall, built like a tank and very strong in her day. After 9 kids you almost have to be. Two Aprils ago she died.

My stepmother's mother was one I was always in awe of and a little intimidated by. She was a hard working gentle woman, but was not one to ooze out emotion. When I was little, all I wanted from my grandmothers was for them to be soft, squishy and huggable. She was not, but she was a good woman who loved the Lord and is now with Him.

My stepfather's mother Grace is my sweetie. I got her when I was a mere 5 years old and clung to her like glue. I saw her a lot as she lived just a couple miles away and we had a tight relationship. She is my chic metropolitan grandmother and when I was a kid she would take exotic cruises and go to banquets in beautiful gowns. Even now, many miles apart we still chat on the phone, e-mail and check in with one another.

Then there is Ruth. I also got Ruth the day I was born, but she is no blood relation. She is my mother's stepmother and has been "Grandma Ruth" to me for 34 years. She was a soft and squishy grandmother. Firm, but huggable and she made it obvious that she loved all of her grandchildren, even those of us who were not hers biologically. If there was any division in her feelings, it was hidden from us kids.

Ruth was a boisterous and outspoken woman and very independent. Tonight she is very dependent as she lays in a hospital bed in Orlando, comatose. She went to visit my aunt in Florida and suffered a stroke and then a heart attack. She is not expected to recover. So here we are, yet another spring, and yet another grandmother finishing her life's journey.

My aunts (her two biological daughters) made the excruciating decision after much prayer and consultation to remove her breathing tubes and take her off of the respirator tomorrow morning. More than likely they will also have to say their good-byes.

Pray for my aunts as they have to go through this painful process and please pray for us as we deal with finances, childcare for four children and all of the other logistics that will make it possible for me to jump on a plane and say my own good-byes, as that may happen in the next few days.


Mrs. Sam said...

What a heritage of women. No wonder your strong. And through this, you'll be strong too. I'm sorry, and I'll pray.

Renae said...

What a beautiful tribute! I will keep you in my thoughts. May you walk in peace during this difficult time.

Jamie said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your Grandma Ruth. It is not easy to lose a loved one. Praying for all of you as you bear the loss and travel.

What a blessing to have so many Grandma's though!