Saturday, December 18, 2010

A great loss.


Virginia Grace Weaver, Feb. 16th 1923-Dec. 6th 2010


This is one of the best, and only, pictures I have with my grandmother from my adult life.  I was so happy when she was able to make it to our wedding, since she had recently lost half of her leg at the time and wasn’t sure if she would be able to make it or not.

It’s been a very sad time for my family.  My grandmother was 87 years old, and hasn’t been in the best of health over recent years, but she was a very strong woman and seemed to overcome whatever had been thrown her way.  Until Monday the 6th.  I got a call from my dad immediately after hanging up with my mom to tell me she was in the hospital, and the doctor requested that everyone get there as soon as possible to make a decision about her condition.  I won’t go into details about her ailment, but she was extremely sick, and her body was not able to handle the damage the illness was causing anymore.  She had apparently been sick since the week before, but refused to go to the hospital then.  I was worried about her one or two months ago when she was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia.  I know that pneumonia can be very serious in a person of her age, and when she came out of that ok, I figured we had more time with her.  So, the phone call I received that Monday came as a complete shock.  I hadn’t seen her since the day after Thanksgiving prior to that, and she seemed fine then.  I didn’t know that she wasn’t feeling well for a few days after that visit, and by that Monday evening, she was at peace.

We all agree that she must have known her time was coming to an end sooner than later.  My aunt was able to answer questions about great grandparents and her siblings that no one else knew the answer to because my grandmother gave her all that information on her most recent visit a few weeks ago.  My uncle’s fiancee, who has cared for my grandmother since losing her leg almost 4 years ago, had a paper that my grandmother wrote out with all the dates of her siblings births and deaths.  My other uncle got the feeling from her on a recent conversation that she knew it was her time to go.  And my dad and I went up to her bedroom to look for something the day after she passed, and found the whole stack of my grandfather’s funeral cards sitting next to her bed, along with a few very old pictures sitting around that didn’t seem like her normal display.  She knew.  I wish I had.  It was a very difficult week.

I got to see all of my aunts and uncles along with all 10 of my cousins and their children together for the first time in a very long time.  It was nice to see everyone again, but not for the reason we were gathered together after so long.  My one cousin did a very nice job of reminiscing about her and memories that each person contributed, and even that could have gone on all day.  We each had very special memories and moments with her.  She had 6 children, 11 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren, and always gave her love individually to each of us.  I won’t get into any of their memories and moments with her, because those are their private thoughts, and this is my personal and public blog.  But I have so many special and even funny memories with her…

She lived near the schools I went to, so when I was old enough to walk to school on my own, my parents would drop me off at her house in the morning to walk to school, and then pick me up there afterward.  If there was ever a morning I didn’t get to eat breakfast or was still hungry, she made sure I didn’t go to school with an empty belly.  I tried new things at her house that I never would have otherwise.  And every day after school, she would let me watch whatever I wanted on TV, and a lot of times there was even an ice cream treat waiting for me.  Butter Nut was the favorite (like Butter Pecan, only the brand the local mini mart sold at the corner called theirs “Butter Nut”).  If she didn’t have any left, she would give me money and send me for some.  I hardly ever missed school for being sick, but I do remember staying at her house during the day a couple times when I was too sick to go to school.  She always had crackers, soup, or ginger ale and knew how to make me feel better.  Her apple pie was the best pie I have ever eaten.  When I was in 5th grade, I had to do a “how-to” speech, so I decided on how to make apple pie.  We were allowed to bring in the item or treat we were speaking about, so my grandmother was generous enough to make at least 5 or 6 apple pies for my dad to bring into school that day.  I was a big hit with my class and all my teachers!  Her homemade apple sauce was also wonderful.  Sadly, I never got the recipe for that from her, and never got the chance to make a whole batch with her to know just what to do.  I do make her apple pie though, and it may not always be as perfect as hers, but it comes pretty close, and I love that I can at least carry that with me in life.  After high school and college, I would drive her to a lot of her doctor appointments, and we would go out to lunch together many times.  I loved my time alone with her, just to talk and be listened to.  Her doors were always open, and I could stop by whenever I wanted for a visit.  I could talk to her about anything and everything, and even when I only planned a quick visit, I would still end up there for hours sometimes.  She was a wonderful role model, an inspiration, and I can only hope that I will grow into being just as an amazing woman as she was.

She will be missed greatly, and will be a part of me forever.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry for your loss, Steph. I don't think I ever met your grandmother, but of course, working at the pharmacy, I knew her name all too well. Thinking of your family during this time!


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