Yesterday, my last living grandparent, my grandmother aka "Mama Helen" passed away. She was 94 years young! Unfortunately, she developed congestion, heart irregularities and other problems in the last month and was in and out of the hospital. She was moved to rehab last week, but had already told my mom, her stepdaughter, some names of pallbearers for her funeral. My grandmother loved life so my mom knew that she had an idea that her time might be sooner than we would all like.
A little history. My mom's mother died of a brain aneurysm at age 37 when my mom was only 12. Her father married Mama Helen, a widow with 2 teenage sons, when my mom was 16 so this is her mom, her friend, her last tie to her hometown as my grandfather passed away 13 years ago. The combined families gave them 13 grandchildren and 35 great grandchildren! This was one classy lady. I will miss her. I am so glad that mini#1 got to spend some time with her last summer with my parents.
So here are things I want to remember about this tiny woman with a huge heart:
1- Her fantastic laugh!!! It was real and it was contagious.
2- Her southern accent- the real "pretty" kind. Think Charleston plantation.
3- Her cooking. More specifically her creamed corn, her tiny homemade biscuits, her peach cobbler...and those mini ham/swiss/poppyseed finger sandwiches. Ummm.
4- Her fashion sense. This woman was dressed and dressed according to current fashion her entire life! No sweats or bathrobes around the house for this lady.
5- Her memory. She could name all 13 grandkids, 35 great grandchildren by name and even remembers birthdays. She made it a point to stay connected to all of us with the help of her son and my mom.
6- Her homemade gifts. One Christmas she made all of the granddaughters china dolls. She made and painted the hands, head, feet in her church ceramics class and then sewed the beautiful christening gown type dresses and bonnets. So lovely. I still have a priceless patchwork quilt she made me. Since I've been married she has sewn my last name into a decorative cloth I use with my rolls on special occasions. Washcloths, etc. etc. This woman used her hands and eyes to create wonderful things.
7- Her ability to have fun with girlfriends. She had so many great ones over the years. They took care of one another so much.
8- Her kind words. She was always positive and just fun to be around.
9- That she really was a mother to my mom throughout the years. At 16, maybe not so much, but these two had a strong bond and a love that my mom needed after losing her mother so young.
10- She always had her nails polished! I don't think I've ever seen her without her mauve-y polish on her nails. And this will choke me up when I see her this weekend...I know it.
I really will miss her. But boy is she living now! She is definitely not resting in peace. She's enjoying the celebration in heaven.
Send good thoughts , prayers up for me (and Mr. Pink!) as I get it all done to get to her funeral. Mini#2's birthday party is on Saturday and I'm afraid I have to leave it all for Mr. Pink to handle. It shouldn't be hard (it's at a kid's gym). I hate to miss his party, but his actual birthday is Sunday so I plan to be back for that. It will all work out. I am not going to stress.
Detroit at Christmastime
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