Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Grandma.

Last week I had the opportunity to visit my Grandma in her last days here on Earth. It was a very neat and treasured visit that I will forever be grateful I got to do. Even though she didn't really "look" like herself it was so nice to say some things I wanted to say to her, stroke her hair, and hold her hand. I am very grateful to that I was able to receive a picture from her home that I will have the privilege of hanging in my home. I explained to the girls that my Grandma was ready to go back to Heaven to live with Father in Heaven, Jesus, and her Mama and Daddy. Not to mention most of her brothers and sisters. And Grandpa! How wonderful that would be for her. While we were at the funeral it turned out to be harder than I thought. Seeing her all done up like she use to made me really miss her. She taught me a lot that I hadn't really thought or recognized but was able to see through the beautiful life sketches that were told. I will miss her dearly and it's kinda hard to think about how long it will be until I see her again, but I am ever so grateful her mind and body is healthy again and she is in the company of loved ones that she has dearly missed.

Things I remember about My Grandma:
1. Sitting on Grandma's toilet watching her put on her makeup and draw her eyebrows on which I found fascinating. It was nice because we would just chat.
2. Grandma always saying yes to giving me a Popsicle but had to wrap the bottom of it with 10 paper towels.
3. Playing puppy or baby under a huge quilt in the living room as Grandma tied or sewed it and watching t.v.
4. When I would spend the night Grandma would come and sit on the bed and talk to me for a bit and then tuck me in. I loved that. She made me feel so safe and cozy.
5. Shopping for back to school with Grandma. She had good taste and could go for hours. She would always say to Mom, "Oh she has to have that."(Yes! Thank you Grandma!)
6. Grandma and Mom would go wrap Christmas presents for hours in the back room and I would get soooo excited as I put my ear to the door hearing the paper crackle and the tape rip. Grandma would always give really pretty wrapped gifts with lots and lots of tape on them. If you got a gift from Grandma you better grab a butter knife to cut all the tape just to open it up. They were 'squishy' too which meant cloths. She had good taste and knew exactly what size to get.
7. Grandma knew how much I loved Lucky Charms and chicken-n-biscuit and so she always had some in her house. Which usually became my 'dog food'.
8. Periodically, but unknown the date or time, Grandma would show up to inspect my room. Yikes! She could find all my little treasures I had hidden/stored in my room. Bits of paper I had drawn on, beautiful colored candy wrappers, boxes of curly pencil shavings, etc.
9. Always had the washing machine going and nobody's clothes were cleaner or brighter than hers. I like to use bluing with my whites and she did that.
10. Having family picnics on the deck, playing horseshoes, fetch with Boo Neice (the white poodle), and hanging wet shirts from the laundry on the tree branches.
11. My love for OLD movies came from laying on the orange mushroom footstool watching TCM with Grandma...and my Popsicle.
12. Giving me a bubble bath in her CLEAN bathtub and her asking if I was ready to get out, but I couldn't until my fingers turned pruney.
13. LOVED her little girl and dog picture in that bathroom.
14. She was always dressed nicely, had her hair done, and not a wrinkle to be seen. Such a BEAUTIFUL lady. Grandma seemed to really take care of herself and carried herself well.
15. I can still hear her calling me, "Zanny". Will miss hearing that. Made me feel special and loved.
16. Her large beanie baby, thimble, and spoon collection.
17. Hearing her chew out telemarketers. She didn't mess around with their babble. Awesome.
18. I had my own nickname for her...Grrrdelma. Don't know where I got that. (called grandpa...Grrrpa)
19. Sitting in her kitchen getting a perm from her. She would stuff a snake-like long piece of cotton around my head and I like that.
20. Seeing her rub and rub and rub lotion on her hands. She had longs fingers and even longer healthy nails.
21. Always kept her ceramic potato candy jar full...usually tootsie rolls.
22. Hearing her say: "Oh for Heaven's Sakes." "Go jump in a lake." "Uglier than a mud fence."
23. This is a little funny maybe to say, but she 'taught' me how to 'shake' myself into my brazier and I STILL do it! It was really funny the first time she 'did' it for me.
24. Loved telling people how her name is Tennie Mae because she was the tenth child and born in the month of May. We all named our first daughter's middle name Mae in her honor. Hope all will carry that on.
25. Not able to write this out or explain, but one that I will hopefully be able to always remember as clearly as I can....hear her laugh and as I do I can see her smile.

One little thing I want to add: growing up all of my siblings and cousins knew of this picture that hung in Grandma's bathroom. It's nothing fancy, in fact a little strange to some, but non the less it was loved by all of us. Probably because it just made us remember Grandma and who doesn't associate love and warmth when they think of their Grandparents. After she went into a special home for her Alzheimer's most of her things were given to family members and this special picture was given to it's proper recipient, my Aunt Tonya. Many times I would spend hours searching on the computer for that print so that I could order it for Christmas presents. Alas, I was NEVER able to track down even one little print or hint. In March of 2011 I happened accidentally upon it and was overjoyed! So this now hangs in my laundry room where I see it everyday and smile. I have a little more to add to this story though. As I was saying my goodbyes privately with Grandma I did ask if it was possible if she could come visit me someday. I just want to 'feel' her around me again. The next day while shopping at a thrifty store with my friend we came upon an old copy of this picture! I felt such a warmth come over me. I like to think that 'Grrrdelma' was apart of that discovery. She gave me a gift.

("The" picture)


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