Monday, April 28, 2008

Another Amazing Woman

My grandparents were together F.O.R.E.V.E.R!

I think when my Grandpa passed, in September 2004 (5 weeks after Dad), they had been together over 50 years. It was not the first marriage for my Grandpa, who was a handsome devil in his day. But those two LOVED each other so very much!!

Every day, until he slipped into his coma at 92, Grandpa would write a letter to my Grandma. Whether it was a quick note on a sticky note, or an elaborate love letter, he always wrote a letter to "Butch" (his nickname for her). Sometimes she would take the letters out and show me the stacks and stacks. She saved every last one.

Grandma was actually my Dad's "step"-mom, although she adopted him when he was well into his adulthood. I know, from what I hear, Dad and his folks didn't always have the BEST relationship, but in the years I remember, they always got along just fine.

They grew closer after my aunt passed, about 20 years ago. When Dad got sick, with his Leukemia, they got even closer still. I think in the last couple years of his life, Dad called them every day.

When Dad died, it did more to Grandpa than we all anticipated. He was devastated. He was 92, and had out-lived both his children. The grief was too much for him, he lost his will, and passed so quickly later. Leaving Grandma, 89 at the time, alone. Grandma was so frail at the time already, and having issues, that the caregivers didn't really anticipate her lasting more than six months.

Fast forward 3 1/2 years. Yep, you guessed it. Grandma, who is now 93, is still with us. Better yet? Up until a month ago she lived all by herself in Washington. We had caregivers going in every day, but she lived there alone. With Grandpa and Dad now gone, Mom tried to get Grandma to come live with her down here in California. "Absolutely NOT!" Grandma exclaimed. "If you can live by yourself, then I can live by myself."

Stubborn indeed.

Well, now Grandma has lost her will to some extent. She took a fall about a month ago and has been in care ever since. She has her requests of no IV's, or anything, and has decided she is "done". She's tired.

The selfish side of me wants to tell her not to give up, but that stays where it is...far into the small selfish side of me. How could I possibly try to convince her not to? She's 93, has had a wonderfully full life, a wonderful loving relationship, and was always the happiest woman I know.

No, it's not my place to tell this magnificent woman when it is her time.

My role now is to help Mom with the pieces. My amazing mother who calls Grandma every day, spends weeks at a time with her as often as possible, and has shared so much with her. My Mom, who is approaching her own anniversary of what would be 51 years with Dad in a couple weeks, is making arrangements for the last Brundage she's had to care for.

Some of you readers think Grandy's kinda cool? These two ladies put me to shame!!

So, will it be a sad thing to see her go? It is what she wants. I am so proud of her for taking care of herself for this long but, how could I not miss her?

I just wish... oh how I wish... I could just say good-bye.

I will...

When it's time.


Mrs. G. said...

This is a touching post.

Mike Golch said...

Grandy,this is a moveing post.
I'm sorry for the loss of your Dad and Granddad.I never knew my Dad's Father,he died when Dad was 5.My Mom's father I meet once for a couple of hours when he was here in ohio to settle an estate of his second wife.They are all gone has been years since mom's parents passed away.I dread the day that I loss my Mom's brother(Rich)and her sister(Patty)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

My grandma is 90 and I think she is thinking it's time to wind things down. I'm glad she's had a great life.

Travis said...

I miss my Gram. I have such amazing memories of her. She was a tiny feisty redhead. She knew me better than anyone.

She's been gone 20 years now.

Jennifer H said...

This was so moving. I hope I am able to let go with as much dignity someday.

April said...

I'm very sorry about your dad and your grandpa. It is always hard to let someone go and I can't imagine how it feels cuz your Grandma said she is "ready" to go. I, too, would not be ready to let her go, that's only human. I don't have any words of wisdom, just do like I plan on doing with my Grandma...spend as much time together as you can and value the time you do have left. I'm thinking of you and your mom as you go through this rough time!

MP said...

Great post..My dad is 88 and mom is 85.. Dad told me he is ready to go..and he's not even sick. I know that when the time really does come it will be horible and suck..for ME..not him. I hope your grandma has a painless transition into death.. {{hugs}} to you and your mom...

Rachel said...

Grandy, I am sorry to hear of your losses. I can sympathize right now since I am still grieving from the loss of an Aunt in December of 07 and My closest cousin in January of 08. I never thought I wouldn't have an opportunity to say my good byes to them, they passed so sudden that I am still just trying to put everything in perspective. I hope you get to say good bye, and I hope that everything goes as easy as possible for all involved.

You take care, and if you ever need someone to talk to ( I know we don't know each other that well, but so what,) I am here. Loved ones passing is never easy to deal with or understand.

You take care, my prayers, love, and sympathy go out to your whole family.

Michele said...

Aw, I'm so sorry about you losing your dad and grandpa. :'(


*more hugs*

Your grandma does sound amazing. Grandma's are special that way. Mine was my best friend. She was always there for me. I lost her a few years ago and I still miss her like it happened yesterday. I hold on to the good memories, her wisdom, her smile, her love, how she helped people. I strive to let her live on through me.

Here's to living for your grandma. I'm sure she'd want you to carry on with grace, strength, and someday.... a smile.

Blessings & Prayers,

Sandy C. said...

Grandy, I'm so sorry. I'm in tears over here reading this. My grandma is 95, and is heading down this same road. Sending many *hugs* your way.

Anonymous said...

grandy, i am so sorry about all of this. i remember when my gram basically "gave up." i was so upset and angry at her for awhile; but when i thought about it further, i really understood. still, it's very, very hard to be the granddaughter watching it all unfold. sending you much strength and love.

i bet your gram would be very proud of your post, you know. it is really beautiful.

XUP said...

You're their legacy. You carry part of them with you always and you do them proud every day.

MP said...

look here...

dkuroiwa said...

Oh Grandy...saying "good-bye" is the hardest thing to do...I had to do it over the phone two times...once with my 96-year-old grandfather and then, the hardest was 2 years ago with my dad.
Go see your grandma...just spend time with her...I wish I had that to do as my grandma passed away suddenly in December with no warning...such a part of my heart is still not accepting of what happened. Part of me dreads going back this summer...with her not there, it won't be the same.
My thoughts are with you...
and how lucky we are to be surrounded by such wonderful people!!
Hugs to you...

Malone! said...

Grandmas ROCK! I love, love, LOVE my Grandmother!!

Your Grandmother sounds like an incredible lady. You're in a tough spot- I understand the total selfish- she's your Grandmother, she'll never leave you. No matter what.

Hug her often.

Grandy said...

Mrs. G~ Thanks lady...she lives up where Mr. G wants to retire.

Mike~ I understand why you would dread that day.

Jenn~ Me too! I hope to have such a wonderful life.

Travis~ Oh, I'm sorry. How nice that you had that wonderful relationship.

Jennifer~ Thank you, your words mean a lot.

MP~ Oh...Parents are even HARDER.

Rachel~ Oh my have had a rough 6 months. I'm so sorry.

Grandy said...

Michele~ You're just beautiful...ya know that??

Sandy~ 95 is impressive. I should be so lucky.

xup~ Ok, I made it without tears on these comments until I got to yours. What's up with that?

April~ How did I miss yours up there? UGH...I'm changing my layout screen. Thanks so much for your encouraging words.

MP~ Good thing it didn't say "See here or I woulda had to spam your a$$. I'll go look. ;)

dk~ {{Hugs}} back to you. I'm sorry for your loss.

Malone!~ Thanks girl. Glad to see ya out & about before your crazy summer gig. :)

Mrs. F said...

You are blessed to still have her around. My Grama passed away when my almost 6 year old was only five weeks old. I miss her soo much that it still hurts some days. Other days, I am fine.

Grandy said...

Oh Mrs. F, I'm very sorry. It's never easy, I know. And at a time when you had just brought a new life into the world.

Tina Coruth said...


This is a loving tribute to your grandma. Thank you for sharing it with us. Take care.


Grandy said...

Tina~ Thank you for stopping by... as always.