Luke 10:41-42

"But the Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing.'"

Saturday, August 4, 2012

In loving memory

My dear friend LEBean and I have many things in common, one of which being that our daughters got to meet all of their maternal great grandparents.  And in less than four days time we also shared mourning one pass away.

My grandma Jolene died on July 30.  The munchkin and I just got home from Nebraska for the funeral. At this time two months ago, our family wasn't sure if Grandma would get to meet her great granddaughter; she was in the hospital fighting for her life.  Thanks be to God, she was back in the nursing home when we were in Nebraska over the July 4 holiday.  While Grandma couldn't say anything to her, I know that she found joy in seeing my baby girl.

I spent weeks in the summer and school holidays at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  Grandma was the elementary school secretary so she had the same vacation time.  She would take me to the town pool, the playground, and park.  This little 5 foot tall woman would drive me in the behemoth of a car to nearby Norfolk to go shopping at Gibson's and Sunset Plaza and lunch at Double K.  She played library with me with the books my dad and his siblings read.  I would sit with her and Grandpa in the very back corner pew of the Lutheran church and sing along with her soprano voice.  For my birthday she made the cake of my choice, from scratch, in the shape of a clown, butterfly, rabbit, or elephant.  She would cook me egg mcmuffins for breakfast served with cranberry juice cocktail.  I would help her wash the dishes by hand (there's still no dishwasher in the house) and we would joke that the grapefruit spoons looked that way because my aunt Joni had chewed on them when she was little.  On New Year's Eve she and Grandpa made air popped popcorn coated with butter and salt and we stayed up until the ball dropped in New York; I could never make it any later.  Every time I hang Lexi's diapers on the clothesline outside I think about how I helped her hang clothes out next to the jars of tea and pickles baking in the sun.  She always sent me cards and money for Halloween and Valentine's Day, even once I got to college.  I still got a stocking and Easter basket when I had well outgrown it.  Grandma loved cheering on the Huskers, traveling with her sisters Adrienne and LaRue, and listening to polka music on the radio on Sunday mornings.  She was incredibly generous, always saw the good in everyone, and never complained.  Grandma and Grandpa were married for 60 years.

Grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2005, although she was exhibiting memory loss years before that.  I would not wish this disease on anyone.  It was heartbreaking to watch it slowly take away this active woman who was loved by so many, and unfortunately her two dear sisters were also afflicted.  In Grandma Jo's memory I am going to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer's next month.  If you are able I would appreciate any donation towards this cause and your prayers for my family as we grieve, for all those affected by this disease, and for those working to find a cure.

1 comment:

  1. If you flew through the Omaha airport, we may have crossed paths. I was just back for my grandmother's funeral a couple days after yours. Not the kind of trip home one wants to make, but at least I got to see a lot of relatives that I haven't seen in a long time.