Monday, October 10, 2011

Ode to a Grandma

Grandma 1922- 2011
My last living grandmother passed away this last weekend. She had a series of health issues in the last couple of years and had recently, out of necessity, been put in a full time care facility. I guess we all saw it coming. But even with that expectation, it seemed like the end came faster than anyone expected. That often seems to be the case. But I would like to think that in quite a few cases that it’s a blessing to those that we love that they don’t suffer.

Honestly and sadly, I can’t say that I really knew my grandmother. My memories are fleeting childhood visits to the Northwestern Iowa farm where she & gramps lived. Gramps was the predominate personality in the relationship. He was always laughing, talking, and telling stories. Meanwhile, grandma always seemed to be floating around in the background frying something on the stove in the kitchen. I do remember that she always fed the wildcats that roamed the farm. She would set up food for them out behind the garage. She always chastised us not to try to pet the cats. Of course with my habit of learning the hard way, I chose not to listen and ended up pretty scratch one time.

I must say that most of the other memories that I have of my grandma are not positive. She quite often seemed to be complaining or criticizing one of her daughters (my mother & aunts). She really didn’t seem to care for my mother. It almost felt like she hated her for some reason which I never could figure out. I remember seeing pictures of the other grandkids or the neighbor’s kids in the old farmhouse but never any photos of myself or my little brother. Years ago one spring I drove back to northwestern Iowa from Utah. I stayed with an Aunt that was centrally located among other relatives. Grandma wouldn’t drive the 25 miles down to come see me. If I wanted to see her, I could drive up to see her. But I never did drive up to see her because everyone else had drove over to see me. I thought it would have been rude to leave everyone to go see her.

I know that grandma had a hard life; the few stories that I heard of her life growing up sounded like a very hard life to survive. But it just always seemed to me that she was unhappy. I find that sad because I see life as an attitude choice. I believe that if you choose to be happy you will be. Granted, it doesn’t always work that way but the chances are greater if you approach things that way. Goodbye Grandma! Now, I just hope that you will now find the happiness and peace that you deserve in the afterlife.

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