I should have blogged about this back in December, but when it comes to sharing thoughts about family, you are never too late. I am extremely blessed to have strong genes to live a long life on both sides of my family.
My Grandmother is one of eight and the eldest, Aunt Lettie in the photo below, is approaching 92 years of age. She’s in a Nursing Home with Alzheimer’s but nevertheless we enjoy her company. Every time I see my Grandmother visit with her sister I am amazed at the beauty and complexity of the mind. She may not know who her daughter is or where’s she is, but when she sees my Grandmother’s face she calls her by name and know that she’s her sister. This interaction reminds me how important it is to provide a solid, stable, healthy childhood for children. Because what they learn and experience are embedded so deep in the mind that even though my Aunt can’t remember what her last meal was or even how to walk, she can still recall episodes and people from her youth.
My Grandmother suddenly lost one of her younger sisters this past weekend, one with who I was very close to, but I praise God that I/we got to enjoy so many wonderful years with her. It’s hard to put into words the shock I feel over her loss, even though I know without a doubt that she’s in heaven and in a much better place than being here in the pain she was in for the past month. The blessing I see in this loss is that she was very, very ill and suffered very little. I was blessed to rush my Grandmother to her bedside after an emergency surgery over the Christmas holiday. I was blessed that my last visit with her was spent watching Oprah, a show we frequently watched together by phone.
Our family has the choice to wonder why, wish that we could have done more, or just give praises to God for the blessing of her long life and the joy and laughter she brought to all of us. I’ll miss my Aunt Margie, she was an elder in my community/culture who understood the peril and evil of untreated mental illness and I thank God for her encouragement to not be afraid to seek help when you need it and to not worry about what others may think. I thank God she was in her right mind, though failing body until the very end.