Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Goodbye Grandma

During the week between Christmas and New Year's, I lost both of my grandmas. Both of them, within three days of each other. I am still trying to process this in my head. Both of these women, so different from each other, but both so dear to me, are now gone forever. I know the majority of anyone reading this didn't know them, and I'm not looking for sympathy or anything like that. Actually, if I hear one more person asking in that "tone" how I am doing, I just might scream. I miss them both like crazy, but I'm fine. I promise!

Grandma (Florence) Knight

Grandma (Dorothy) Harris

These are two of my favorite pictures of them. Most pictures of Grandma Harris have her hand or any nearby object covering her face, so to get one of her smiling for the camera was rare!

Gma H went into the hospital on Dec 28 with heart problems. On Dec 30th Gma K passed away. Gma H passed away on Jan 2, which was also the day Gma Kwas buried. That was a pretty rough week, to say the least.

I've tried a few times to write this blog post about them, and I know I can't do justice to either of them in just a blog post. It would take a book to tell the escapades of Gma H! They were alike and different, at the same time.

Gma K was 92, when she died. She married young, had 4 boys and 1 girl. She lived her life on a farm, and was the epitome of the farmhouse wife. My grandpa owned a farm supply store in addition to running a dairy and tobacco farm, so they were all busy from before dawn to well after dark. Gma K cooked for the family and farmhands, sewed the kids clothes from feedsacks, worked in the fields, and the hundreds of other things a family takes for granted. She was the oldest member of Hillsdale Primitive Baptist Church, where she was a faithful member as long as her health allowed. She was a great example to me of how to love God and care for your family. Even her hobbies centered around home and family, from working in her flowers  to crocheting doll clothes. She had a great sense of humor, even after dememtia started stealing her away from us. She had a great ability to laugh at herself and her situation. The doctors gave her medication to help with her memory, and she told me they gave her pills, but she couldn't remember why. When reminded they were for her memory, she would just laugh and say "well they aren't working too good then, are they?" Dementia is a horrible illness, taking away the person inside, leaving them confused at a new world around them. Even in that though, there were still bright moments. Her memory had started deteriorating by the time my youngest daughter was born. I had named her after Gma K's mother, and when I took Anna to see her, and told her Anna's full name, she just beamed and said, "that was my mother's name!" I can't tell you the number of times we had to tell her Anna's name, and each and every time it was like the first time, and her face just lit up at knowing Anna's name. She raised her children all to love God, and there are 47 direct descendants of her that will miss her so much, and so many others that loved and respected her.

Gma H. Now she was a character. To those outside the family, she was the sweet, quiet, friendly grandmotherly type. Our church family loved her. Around just the family though, her personality really came alive! There are so many inside jokes/quotes that all came from her. She had a vocabulary all her own. Crunchies (crunchy Cheetos), smashie (Wendy's Frosty), Chick Filly (Chick Fil A) were all Grandma originals. She started her life on a farm as well, but she couldn't wait to get away from it. She was a city girl inside! Once she and my grandpa married and moved closer to town, she really enjoyed having neighbors and keeping up with what was going on in town! They had two daughters. She lost one of them, my aunt Melody, to cancer when Melody was 33. After my grandpa passed away, she wound up moving to my parent's place, into a cute little place my dad built for her behind the house. She loved telling everyone they moved her to the woodshed. Gma H was unique, and even in her last days she was completely herself. Any time she was in the hospital, she had to rearrange the room, and we would always wind up laughing until we cried over every silly little thing we said. Her last stay was the same way. We brought in chair after chair to make room, laughed at things she did and said. She wouldn't eat, and we tried everything to coax her into a bite of this or that. I tried feeding her sherbet once, and told her, "Grandma, don't you know it's against the law to waste ice cream?" Immediately she shot back "not in North Carolina!". She got very quiet the last few days, and that's how we really knew something was different. She wasn't a person to keep quiet for very long. She had an opinion, and she always felt obligated to share it. It was usually the opposite of mine, and I'm a lot like her, so we had some interesting times.

I'm grateful I had so many wonderful years knowing and loving these two women. My life is better for both of their Christian examples. Go visit your grandma if she's still around, because she won't be here forever!!


1 comment:

  1. Your grandmothers sound like amazing women. I know you miss them. I'm so sorry. Thank you for telling about them.

    My name is Dorothy, after my grandmother. She is gone now, but I think about her.

    You have had a lot of ups and downs this past year. Bless you. Give yourself time.