My Grandma raised me. My parents worked at night and she took on the job of taking care of me. I am sure that it was quite a job. I was skinny and full of energy when I was young. Nothing like what I am now.
When I was born, she was 68 years old. I was the child of her 10th child. Needless to say, she already had a lot of grandchildren by the time I came into the world. She had raised her children and now was ready to raise one of her grands.
My grandfather died when my Daddy was 9 years old. Grandma still had several children at home at that time and I am sure it seemed like quite a burden to face when he died. One of my uncles returned home to help her. He was a kind, sweet man and eased her burden by chipping in to help.
My first memories of grandma were when she was in her 70s. She would wash clothes in a ringer washing machine, put a basket of wet clothes on her hip and walk down the back steps to the clothesline to hang them to dry. I often wonder how she did the things she did. She would sweep, mop and vacuum the house. She would cook great meals and still have time to play with me. When she bought a TV, we would spend hours watching Mickey Mouse and Howdy Doody. She was never too busy to cater to a little girl who totally adored her.
As grandma got older, her spunk didn’t. She fell and broke her arm one time when she was in her 80s. I remember the doctor telling her that she would probably never regain the use of her arm at her age. A couple of months later she gleefully raised her arm and showed him that this had not defeated her. Although she was a gentle and kind person, she had a quiet determination that I always admired.
Many days I sit here and wonder what MS will hit me with next. Every day I fight to keep doing the things I can and hoping that this disease will not progress any faster than it has. Even though I work hard not to do so, sometimes I feel sorry for myself and angry that I can no longer go places and do things that I could just a short few years ago. Sometimes I would be so easy just to give up and wallow in self pity.
When I get this way I often see grandma in my mind. Her strength always shines through whatever task she had to do on any given day. No matter what was going on, I have never heard her raise her voice or stomp around in anger. She was quiet, soft-spoken and the most loving person I have ever known.
When she died, I thought my world would end. I was 24 and not at all ready to give her up. Even though she was 91 years old and bed-ridden, she never complained and always had “I love you” on her lips. It was the last thing she ever said to me. Part of me will always ache with the need to have her hug me one more time and tell me this.
I hope in some small way I have inherited a part of her courage. I know that many times I fail miserably. But when I do, thinking of her lifts me up and puts the fight back in my spirit. I know this is what she would want me to do.
When I get to Heaven it will be so wonderful to be with her again. I know that God loved her so much and wanted her close to Him. I understand that. I am anxious to get that hug from her. I hope she is still singing those little songs she used to sing to me. I bet it makes God smile…………