bye for now
Yesterday midday I took a break to eat my lunch and I went by my grandma's house where my mom and uncle were caring for her. As each day had passed we'd known that the end was drawing closer. Within fifteen minutes of my being there she took her final breath. There was no pain, no struggle, no discomfort. It was just as we had prayed it would be. At 91 years old my sweet sweet Marjorie Jean passed away in the presence of two generations of children she had raised and raised well.
Although we will miss her more than words can even begin to portray, the greatest gift that anyone could have allowed anyone was the life that we were able to share with her.
She was the ultimate in a nurturer and caregiver that any one could ever have or be. It never mattered who you were, if you were in her house, in her presence, she was going to take care of you. She cooked dinner for her family nearly every night, burning it often because she was distracted by helping someone with something else at the same time. Once dinner was served, she was the last one to sit down every time. Always running about the kitchen getting someone a drink, a napkin, another helping.
She was the ultimate in showing what unconditional love meant. There was not one person that she met that she didn't love and welcome without judgment. Even when she was wronged, she never held hard feelings towards that person (which sometimes made the rest of us upset that she wouldn't even defend herself). There was not one moment in my whole life that I questioned whether or not she loved me, whether or not she cared for me, not even whether or not she was upset with me. With her, you were always given a blank slate, always given a chance to start again, to try again.
Her life was focused on others. She graduated college in Michigan at a time when most woman weren't going to school. She served her country, as did my grandfather, but ranked higher than him in her service to the Navy. After being a stewardess (they were still called that), she became a nurse, naturally, and I am sure that every hand she touched knew that they were never going to be overlooked in her care. She had four children and raised my grandfather's son as her own. She had eleven grandchildren, six great grandchildren, and a lot of pseudo grandchildren in our friends and neighbors. Her daily life was planned around what we were doing and where we were going. Together with my grandpa, she would pick us up from school if needed, take us to art lessons, dance classes, soccer practice. Whatever we did, they were a part of. Weekends were filled with work around the house and in the yard and on the sidelines of our soccer games, eating her gram crackers and drinking cranberry juice.
Because of her I know what love is. Real love. I watched her as she showed it to her husband, her children, her grandchildren, any friend we ever brought into her house or introduced her to at one of our soccer games as much as one human has the capacity to. Because of the legacy that she started, my uncles and my mom were able to have the lives they have, find the loves of their life, build a family that they could love, raise, teach and continue the selflessness that she bestowed on them.
She will be forever missed and I will forever long to be with her again. However, as she said every time we left her house, this is only "bye for now." There will be another time, in a better place, that we are together again.
She left this earth one day late for her 62nd wedding anniversary date and I know William was waiting for her to arrive. I am sure that they are celebrating like mad the amazing, long, blessed life that they both had, Cat Stevens playing in the background, ice cream bowls in hand.