Sunday, January 28, 2007

Remembering a Great Woman - My Grandmother

I was talking to my mother tonight on the phone and she mentioned how tomorrow would have been my grandmother's 90th birthday. Just mentioning this to me brought back a flood of memories of her. She was a wonderful person whom I loved very much. I re-read the post I wrote about her back in December of 2005. In honor of her, here is what I wrote about her only a few months after she passed: (This is an excerpt from a post made on Saturday, December 31, 2005)

Person of the Year -- My grandmother -- My grandmother passed away a few months ago. She was a wonderful person and a true friend to everyone she met. She lived in a small town in Alabama called Geneva. During her life, she had many obstacles to overcome, but she always overcame them, and became a better person because of them. To mention a few:
  • When she was in the prime of her life, she was hit by a train when her car became stuck on a railroad track. Her entire lower body was crushed and broken. It took her a long time, but she eventually walked again even though the doctors told everyone she would probably never walk again.
  • Her husband (my grandfather and one of the greatest men I've ever known) died of Parkinson's disease after a long and grueling 7-8 years of suffering. During this time, my grandmother stood right by his side and took care of his every needs. She put his needs ahead of her own. When he was in the hospital on his deathbed, he didn't die until he heard my grandmother say, "It's okay for you to go. I'll be okay." He then relaxed and passed away knowing she was going to be okay. She took care of him and he left this world knowing she was going to be okay.
  • After my grandfather's passing, she mourned for a short time, but then she surprised us all by becoming extremely active with her senior citizens club. She traveled around the country with them seeing sights and places she had never been to. She really made the best of the rest of her life. I was so impressed, because many people like her who had been so dependent and attached to a loved one usually withdraw into depression and have a really hard time adjusting to life without their spouse. She lived life to it's fullest and was fond of saying to me, "I'm just happy to have another day to live. I'm going to enjoy it." Something we all should say every morning!
  • But, during this time of her life, the unthinkable happened. One of her two sons, my uncle Troyce, was killed in a freak accident in his early 50's. He was barbecuing on his back porch when the propane tank exploded and he was killed. This was horrible for us all. Uncle Troyce was so fun to be around. He had a joy for life like no other. This was devastating to my grandmother, but she managed to move on knowing Troyce was now in heaven with his father.
  • Life certainly dealt her some bad breaks, but it was how she bounced back from the bad times that defined her life and legacy. She was truly an inspiring woman whom I deeply miss.
Happy Birthday Granny! I love you. - J.


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