Sep 10, 2016

64 y 25d

A common practice on grave markers was to list the person's age in years and days. My Mama, the original Grammy, died at 64y 24d.

This day, THIS DAY, I have out lived my sweet Mama.

I've thought on this so many times this last year. In April 1976 my Mom whacked her leg on the lawn mower and got a huge hematoma on her shin. Dr Batson told her she needed to take a few weeks off work and let it heal.

I was all in a dither because Miss Amanda was due mid-May. How could I manage without my Mama there? Finally, just days before I was due, Mama got the ok from Dr Batson to travel and my mind was at ease.

Since Mom lived several hundred miles away she took off when we called her to tell her the baby was on her way. She arrived in plenty of time to *take care of HER baby while I took care of my baby* (plus Tony and Rebekah). She mentioned, when she arrived, that her *gut* was getting big. She'd recently lost weight and couldn't figure why that should be. I, being all wrapped up in myself, just thought she was imagining it... she'd been off work for 4 weeks and couldn't stay busy.

Grammy, Bekah, Amanda and Tony
June 11, 1976

Mom's Aunt Ester lived in Portland, Oregon (we lived in Sweet Home, Oregon) and so after a couple of weeks of taking care of us she wanted to see her only aunt. She was gone for a few days and when she returned I notice that the blouses I'd make for her were snugger across her abdomen than when she'd arrive 3 weeks earlier.

That was the beginning... the first inclination that anything was wrong. After exhaustive tests it was finally diagnosed, from a abdominal fluid test, that she had stage 4 ovarian cancer. Prognosis- 6 months to 5 years.

REALITY- she died less than a year after coming to welcome Miss Manda!

MY MAMA WAS LIKE ME! (or perhaps, I like her). SHE WAS FIT AND ACTIVE AND VIVACIOUS AND LOVED HER FAMILY WITH ALL HER HEART! AND SHE WAS GONE!! Yup, and I was only 24 years old... my Mama's Mother died when she was 14. (I just can't like this!!)

So, as I said, I've reflected on this so many times as I go on my walks, work in the yard, serve at the Temple, tend my darling grandbabies... I'm living my Mama's last year of life.

And in true Elsie-fashion, even though she was dying, she filled her last few months with as many wonderful things as she could. Her last trip was to Ann's house for Andy's baptism in March 1977. Even though she and a friend drove to Utah she had to fly home she was so ill.

So, here I am... Grammie- 64 years and 25 days and doing just the kinds of things my Mama taught me to do... being a Grammie extraordinaire!

Fiona's #3 birthday cake
for her
Fiona's Purple Party


And Grammy was here in spirit as I used her spatula-tor to frost cup-cake-REE-ouses!

I love you Mama... thank you for always loving your little-Joanie!

1 comment:

Ann Boucher said...

So I was walking home from church with Cambria and ShaNee Sunday. I had just told ShaNee what a beautiful, lovely lady she is. Cambria was between us on the sidewalk, holding both our hands, loving it. And guess what came into my head . . . "I often go walking through meadows of clover ... Got that far and couldn't go father -- I would have cried.