Friday, January 30, 2009

My Grandmother

I love hearing my grandmother talk about her life. It's fascinating to me and she has an interesting personality. The subject matter and the storyteller make for great conversation.

She just turned 89 in December, which means that she was 51 when I was born. That was back before "50 was the new 40", so she always looked like an old lady to me. I love it when she takes her pictures out so I can see what she looked like when she was younger. Because I've only known her as an older woman, it's wild to see her as a young girl. It's even more interesting, I think, to see her as a young wife and mother. To see her easy smile, and the way she obviously loved my grandfather, and how proud she was of her kids --- that's what I enjoy the most.

Here she is with my grandpa and my dad, probably more than 60 years ago. I love to look at her beautiful face!

She was the wife of a coal miner and that life wasn't easy. She spent her days taking care of her family. She made ends meet for herself, her husband, and their three kids. My dad says she can squeeze a buffalo nickle until it poops. I believe it. She's a "waste not, want not" type of woman and I love that about her. She is the epitome of matriarch to me and I mean that in a positive way.

She's lived without my grandpa for a very long time. He died when he was 63, more than 30 years ago. She still talks about him with reverence. There was never any question she would marry again. She's told me many times there was no other man she would marry after having been married to the best man for so many years.

My grandma loves her family. She would do anything for us. I have no doubt about that.

Tonight she is surrounded by family in a hospital in Charleston and is not expected to live through the night.

She's had a rough few months, due to pancreatic cancer. Surgery on Monday was supposed to make things easier on her, but it didn't work out. Just like when her daughter passed away a few weeks ago, my family was praying for something different.

Just six days ago, I talked to my grandma. I told her I was praying for her. I told her I loved her. Tonight I asked my sisters to make sure they whispered "Tina loves you" to her. I know she knows. I just want her to hear it one more time. For me, mostly.

My grandma believes in Jesus. She is saved by grace, through faith. She is on her way to heaven. I pray that her husband, her daughter, her parents, her brother, and her sister are there to welcome her with open arms. I'm clinging to that promise hard tonight because my heart is really breaking.

As my grandma always says, if you are a praying person, pray for me. Pray for my family. We are the ones in need of it. My grandma is about to be rejoicing.

Thank you for letting me have her in my life for so long. Welcome her home, Father, and let her know we'll see her soon!


Evil Twin's Wife said...

My prayers go out to your grandmother and your whole family. She is a lovely woman - you're very blessed to have had her in your life for such a long time.

A. said...

Tina, I'm so sorry. She sounds like an amazing woman.

You and your family are in my prayers.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

I'm so very sorry, hon. It's always hard to lose those we love. I just marked the 11th year of my dad's passing this past Friday. And you know? The hole never goes away. It's just that the edges become less jagged.

She will live on in your memories and will be with your grandfather looking down on you. :) Thinking of all of you, hon.

Tina said...

Thanks, ETW, A, and Heather for your kind words. It really just makes me feel better to write about it and knowing people are reading about her makes me feel good too!