My Grandma H, as I have mentioned, was a great lady. She loved her grandkids more than anything. She had a hard life, born after the 1918-1919 flu epidemic, lived through the Great Depression, ran her own dry cleaning business. She saw it as her duty to raise her grandchildren with morals and work ethic, because we weren’t getting it from our mother.
For years, my Grandma H. would come to Tennessee for Christmas. Every year, she’d clean out my mother’s hoarding disaster, and for a few weeks, the house would be clean. She never said it, but I knew she bought a lot of our Christmas presents.
When we went to stay with Grandma H, our clothes were always clean. She taught me to iron, and how to care for my own clothes, a valuable tool when living with a hoarder.
She also took in my sister the year I went to Germany, when my mother had obviously grown tired of her daughters and wanted to focus on her new husband and new son.
She bailed out my mom over and over, and after my Grandma H died, my mom called me over and over for money. I was barely making anything, but she had bought my glasses (see DB later this week) during a crisis. So I would buy her groceries and prescriptions.
Grandma H. was indefatigable. She worked into her 80’s until the year she died, caring for an older woman with Alzheimer’s who just needed guidance. SHE CARED FOR AN OLDER WOMAN.
My grandma was awesome.
She believed people died in their beds, so she slept in a chair. Now, I know it was because of her lung cancer and COPD. My grandma died in a chair.
That chair. That recliner. We used to sit on her lap. One day, after work, my Grandmother, my sister and I all sat in her recliner and we all LEAAAAAAAANED BACK and the recliner tipped over. We all laughed so hard we could barely get out of the pile of grandmother and granddaughters.
I miss my Grandmother. Her life and death played an integral part in my decision to become a nurse, and an inspiration in my poetry. You’ll see that tomorrow.