Monday, December 2, 2013

Was It Today? Remembering Grandma Mary

Was it today?*  I can’t remember.  If not, it was close to today, the day my Grandma Mary died back in 2000.  I was in the process of winding down my part in the law practice, off to seminary and the grand adventure of becoming a pastor.

I never had to solve the conundrum of what to tell Grandma (staunch Church of Christ, women cannot, cannot, cannot, be pastors) I was up to.

She was 87 when she died, but it feels like we got caught in mid-conversation – an abrupt end it seems still.  Her hip, ailing her for years, finally gave way and she was to have surgery – the thing she had delayed and denied and angrily forged past for a very long time until there was no more time.  We talked on the phone and I was on my way there after work, but Grandma tricked us all – she was like that – and died before she could get to the operating table.  Mary had her way to the very end – no surgery for her.

If I told you that she was buried in a body bag – by prearrangement – you might intuit quite a bit about this bestower of genetic materials and cultural, moral and familial ways I lay claim to.  You’d know a lot, but you wouldn’t know it all.

You wouldn’t know that her life-long dream of singing at the Grand Ole’ Opry was never to be but still brought her great pleasure to think about.  You wouldn’t know that she loved to travel and flew like a bird any time someone, anyone, suggested a trip.  You wouldn’t know that this West Virginia gal from the back woods talked with her husband about joining the Peace Corps in their middle age.  She was a big dreamer, my Grandma.  I like that about her.  If you got to meet her, you would have too.

I miss her, but I don’t worry about her – she’s in some pretty good hands.

Happy birthday, Grandma.

Love, Beth

Actually, it was November 30, 2000 when Grandma died.  Her 87th birthday would have been December 2 of that same year (or was it December 3?  My Grandma actually had two different birth certificates, so I’m sticking with the 2nd.  My mother will set me straight if I got it wrong).

1 comment:

  1. The 3rd is correct for her birthday - your Aunt Lucie died on the 3rd of Dec. and Mary died on the 30th of Nov. Sad time of year for us.