Sunday, November 2, 2008
When Jeremy called me to the phone at 11:30 last Saturday night telling me it was my dad I already knew what he was going to say. My Granny had died very suddenly at the age of 93. I was sad, but mostly happy for her. She never had to go to a nursing home, she lived in the same home where she raised her family and was surrounded by her family and community right up to the end. Now she is enjoying her eternal reward in heaven and is with God and Grandaddy, and others who have went on before her.
At 93 she still had the mind of a much younger person. Her body was failing her but not her mind. Earlier this year I went to see her and she was reading the "Little House" series for the first time, my husband was also! The week before her death she attended revival at church every night, Monday through Friday. At the funeral the pastor joked that she was at church more than him. It probably wasn't far from the truth. She wasn't about to give in just because she was in a lot of pain due to crippling arthritis and her advanced age. Shoot, just this year she told us she was going to make it too 100. But God had other plans, he knew she had worked hard enough and it was time for her to rest.
I grew up living just a quarter of a mile from my Grandparents house on the farm were my Dad was raised. On our little farm we raised cattle, corn, beans and tobacco, not to mention several huge gardens each year. Granny was already in her 60's when I was born but she did all she could on the farm until her body stopped her. I know that she worked as hard as the men out in the tobacco fields, then came in to fix a huge meal and clean up afterwards. Hard work has been a legacy in our family.
I have some great memories of my Granny. Every Sunday after church we would head up there to spend the afternoon with family. Granny would cook a huge (and delicious) meal and the whole family would be there. Some of her specialties were fried chicken, biscuits, and chess pie. After the meal us kids would explore the yard, orchard, chicken coop, corn crib, hay and cow barn and pastures. One Sunday I was up in the orchard, where the chickens liked to hang out and the mean old rooster started chasing me round and round an apple tree. I was screaming and hollering, here came Granny and knocked the crap out of him! I also remember helping her pluck a chicken (could have been that rooster!). I remember everyone telling how she could grab one up and twist it's head off in a blink of the eye. She rarely got upset with us but I do remember her threatening to take a stick to me if I kept catching centipedes, she was scared that they had a poisionious bite. She was always trying to make me more lady like, "put your legs together when your wearing a dress, put that toad down, it will give you warts." Her efforts failed in that department, and yes I do have warts now!
I am so thankful to God for for laying me off from work for two weeks so that I could get down and see her one last time. I hugged her and kissed her cheek and told her I loved her when I left her house a week before she passed. I don't usually hug and kiss her like that when I leave so I know that that was something I was lead to do. God is so good! Giving me comfort in advance!
Granny never drove, except a tractor, and lived most of her life in that little house on the hill. She never went on vacations to visit other places (at least not when I was around). But to live her life out in such a small geographical area, she sure lived her life large spiritually. I can only hope that live my life as well as she did hers.