My Granna died on Tuesday. Valentine's Day would have been her 89th birthday.
She began to suffer from congestive heart failure on January 31. I was thankful to have received a call from my Uncle Randy after the nursing home contacted him that day. I was blessed to have a husband who encouraged me to stay by her side for the last nine days of her life. Keith even booked a hotel room for me in Thomaston (over my protestations about the budget and being absent from our home) so that I wouldn't have to drive long hours. I was able to stay there, close-by, in case the nurses called with a change in Granna's condition during the night.
It is said that when you are born, you have your mother there to help you along; but that everyone dies alone. That is certainly true.
Granna breathed her last while I was on the five-minute drive from the hotel to her nursing home. But all of those days that she fought, I was beside her if she was scared or sad or hurting.
I come from strong and determined stock. When she was born in 1927, she only weighed 2.5 pounds. Her parents were afraid she wouldn't live the night, but they swaddled her up, placed her in a shoe box on top of their dresser, and prayed.
Growing up in the Depression, she walked to her country schoolhouse with nothing but a handful of parched corn or a piece of corn pone in her lunch pail. But, she developed a love of learning that led her to a college degree, a career as a medical records technician, and her passions for oil painting, photography and horticulture.
She expanded the universe of experiences for all of us in her family. She touched all who knew her with her grace.
I baked two cakes today; a Five-Flavor Pound Cake (September 7) and a Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt (January 31). I am taking them to the staff of the nursing home on my way down to Warm Springs tomorrow for the funeral. I appreciate the care and affection they showed my grandmother, and their forgiveness each time I took some Saturday Cake to her without enough to go around.
I will be taking some time off from the blog to let all of the flavors of the last fifteen months sink-in.