Soon after Tatum was born, my Grandma, my mom's mom, was diagnosed with Brain Cancer. She was 85. I didn't realize at the time how serious it was because a few years ago she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and she had gotten through it. Needless to say, I decided she needed to meet her newest great-granddaughter. That first visit wasn't so bad. She met Tatum and thought she was just adorable. She sat in her recliner in her corner of the living room like she had for so many years. I didn't realize how bad it was until she started cringing from pain. While she ate her dinner, she lectured Grandpa on how ridiculous it was that he had bought frozen green beans instead of canned ones. She always lectured Grandpa, and he always smiled. She was the same Grandma I had known and loved for so many years, just much more fragile.
She talked, I listened. That's how it went most of the time. She talked, people listened. She told me how glad she was to meet Tatum and how much she had prayed last summer for God to grant me another baby. After two miscarriages, she just knew that the next pregnancy would result in a baby and that God was just teaching me patience. She prayed for me that summer & God did bless us with a beautiful baby girl. She prayed for everyone all the time.
The next few visits were hit and miss. Sometimes she'd be there, sometimes she wouldn't. I brought her pictures of the kids and her face would light up. I went and saw her the night before her 86th birthday. She told me she was ready to go meet Jesus. I told her Jesus was waiting for her and that I loved her. She smiled and held my hand as she drifted off to sleep. As I got up to leave, she called my name, "Carrie Anne... Thank you for coming. Thank you for sharing your children with me. I love you. Good bye."
My mom said that night Grandma told her how grateful she was that I had come to see her. The next day and days after she was somewhere else.
Last night I got a call from my mom. She was sad, it was hard for her to talk, she asked for me to pray that Jesus take Grandma home so she would no longer be in pain. I got off the phone and told Tony I needed to go be with my mom. So Tatum & I packed up and headed to my Grandparents' house in Stayton. I passed the baby off to my cousin Rachel, who had spent days and nights there with her mom for who knows how long. I went back to the bedroom where my Grandpa, my mom, her 3 sisters and one of her brothers were huddled around Grandma. She asked what I was doing there and I told her I was there for her.
My mom has always been the rock. She rarely cries and is strong for everyone always. I felt like she needed me so she didn't have to be so strong. I just had a feeling last night that I needed to be there. After about 20 minutes, I left the room because my mom's last brother had arrived. Their family was complete. I went out to the kitchen and talked with my cousins. A few moments later one of my aunts screamed for her mommy. It was 7:42. Grandma was with Jesus.
When I was 6, my older brother & I went to stay with our grandparents while my parents looked for a house in Klamath Falls. She always had crafts for us to do when we came to visit. That time we made a birdhouse out of a 2 liter soda bottle for my dad and some Christmas ornaments for my mom, made out of styrofoam balls, needles & beads. I lost one of my red star earrings and we spent half the night looking for it. In the morning she had apparently found it and laid it on my nightstand.
When I got my ears pierced she helped Grandpa & I make earrings out of buttons.
She loved to shop. My mom was not a fan, so I would go with Grandma. Even as she got older, she would still take me to Ross to find a coat on a Tuesday so we could get the extra 10% off for seniors citizens. She always knew where to find a sale.
She and Grandpa loved to take everyone out to dinner. We would go to Hometown Buffet, but we had to make it by 4:30 so we would get the lunch discount. She would take cookies and put them in her pockets to save for later.
When I would fight with my mom when we were at Grandma & Grandpa's and I ended up crying in my room, Grandma would come in. She would tell me how much my mother loved me and just wanted what's best for me.
We played "hand & foot" and she would always win. If she didn't, she'd spend the rest of the night explaining why she didn't. We played "tension rummy" and the whole table would laugh because she had sat next to Andrew and got so upset because he never let her get the card she wanted.
When we were good, she would buy us Duncan Donuts.
I have never seen a more decorated home than my Grandma's at Christmastime. Everytime the entire family was anywhere, we ALWAYS had to get a picture.
An entire wall of her dining room is dedicated to her grandbabies.
She told me Tony was the one for me the day she met him. She was right.
She told everyone she knew about Jesus. She wanted us all to know his love.
One time when we were little, Dominic and I were driving with Grandma & Grandpa and we hit a patch of black ice. She immediately started to pray. We ended up in a ditch but everyone was okay. Out of no where, a man was there and pulled us out. As instantly as he had appeared, he was gone again. Grandma knew he was an angel.
She bossed my poor grandpa around like no one else could. And he smiled when she told him what to do because he didn't care, he loved her. And so did we.
My only regret is that I always wanted a photo of my grandma, my mother, me & my baby girl together.