Every summer, my mom’s family has a family reunion in Texas, a tradition that was started in 2001. That first year was awesome. My cousin and I tried on our great-grandmother’s wedding dress. (It was TINY!) I remember helping my cousin and grandmother put together a folder of photocopied old pictures and stories about our relatives. I know I looked at the pictures at the time, but I don’t recall ever having read all the stories and ancestry. I have somehow managed to not only keep this folder, but I have always known where it was. This may not sound like a great feat to some, but have you seen the name of my blog?? Uh, yeah.
Over the years, the cost of flights had gotten crazy expensive for all three of us to go to the reunion. A few years ago, we had considered skipping one year in the near future. I was apprehensive on when to do this, since the matriarch of our family, my grandmother, wasn’t getting any younger. But last summer, we decided not to go.
Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Around Thanksgiving, my grandmother’s health started going steadily downhill. She had her aortic valve replaced at the beginning of the year, then a pacemaker shortly thereafter, and there have been several infections since. Her doctors have said she is now in renal failure. Dialysis would be too difficult for her frail body, so my mom and uncle have said that they will not pursue that. The only other option is hospice. The doctors say it’s a matter of days to a week. 😦
I don’t see how I can fly out to Texas on such short notice. The tickets are outrageous and I thought they were bad before! I would probably have to take the kid with me. DH has to work so there would be no one home to care for DS. And while my dad and stepmom have offered to watch DS, I would be worried about the whole gluten thing (because even with my diligence as his mother, I’ve screwed up and let him eat something I didn’t know had hidden gluten). My dad and stepmom aren’t local enough to get him to kindergarten, so he would be out of school. Yes, it’s just kindergarten, but he’s already missed about 8 days because of the gluten issue. So. It doesn’t look likely that I will be able to go. She wouldn’t be able to recognize me right now anyway, and as my uncle said, she would rather that we remember her differently.
Here’s some of my most memorable memories of my grandmother.
She loved to make tiger butter for us grandkids. If you are not familiar with this rich treat, you must Google it and make a batch post-haste! It’s so simple and SO damn good.
As the daughter and wife of ministers, she did not curse. Then as she aged, she let “crap” slip on occasion. Sometimes, she’d even say “Oh shit,” and the other grandkids and I would giggle! Mostly though, she would say, “Oh for heaven’s sake!” which I can hear her saying in my mind right now. 🙂
When DS was an infant, she was in town with my cousin and her husband and my mom and stepdad for my son’s baptism, everyone all piled up in our tiny little house. I saw her in the hallway upstairs coming out of the bathroom, with nothing but a towel over the front of her. She said, “phantom!” in her sing-song-y teacher voice. And then I saw an 80-year-old full moon as she retreated to the guest room. LOL
When her time comes in the next few days, it will be a sad sad day for us here on earth. But in heaven, where I have no doubt she will be, there will be much rejoicing. She will finally be reunited with her husband, her brother and sister and their spouses, her parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins….and thanks to that old folder of information from our first family reunion, I now know all of their names!
Here’s to you, Grandma Dot! Ich liebe dich!