Thursday, February 26, 2009

"A grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend." ~Author Unknown

My 90 yr. old Grandmother, Dorothy Jean West passed away Tuesday afternoon, for the last few months she had been in and out of the hospital and her health had been pretty poor for the last few years, but even towards the end when her breathing became more and more labored she still managed to make us all laugh and smile with the wit and charm that we loved so much about her.

Last Friday my Aunt Kim sent the word out that Grandma had taken a turn for the worse and so we all gathered together as a family to get in as many precious moments as we could before she left us.

At dinner Friday night Kim told me if I had any final things I wanted to say to Grandma I should go now while I had the chance and as I walked down that hallway to her apartment a heavy feeling of anxiety came over me, because I thought to myself what can I possibly say that will sum up the love and gratitude that I feel towards this woman who has taught me so many things and given me so many wonderful memories. So I said a little prayer for help in knowing what to say. I went inside her apartment and sat down by her bed I told her it was me and then all I could think of was to just say "I Love You" and she hesitated for a minute (I assume to catch her breath), then I heard her mutter "I love you. . . .more then my luggage".

Now for those of you who don't know that's a line from "Steel Magnolias", which just so happens to be my favorite movie, and that's a quote I use all the time especially with my sister, but my Grandma always thought it was cute we said that to each other so she used it too, and it was at that moment when she uttered those words that I knew that was all that needed to be said, she knew I loved her, and I know she loved me. Grandma's Pastor, Paul, was in the room playing her some hymns on his guitar and we sang a couple together and then I left so that someone else could have a chance to speak with her, and as I shut the door she called out one more time "more then my luggage", I just kinda broke down in the hallway after that and gave thanks to my Heavenly Father for blessing my Grandma with enough clarity of mind so that we could share a moment, I guess I didn't need to prepare a whole monologue listing off everything I was thankful for that she did for me. It's funny how so much love can be expressed in so few words.

My Grandma West was a very special person and I wish their was someway for me to really communicate that to all of you, it's like words can't describe how wonderful she was. She was one of those people that made everyone in her presence feel like they where of worth. She doesn't have a Grandchild that wouldn't claim to be her favorite. I don't know how she managed make each of us girls (pictured below) feel so special, but she did and it's my prayer that we can carry on that legacy.

Pictured from L to R starting in the back My Cousins Amanda, Rachel, Stacie, and my sister Amy. Then my cousin Alicia, Grandma, Me and Donna. This as well as the next few shots where taken at her 90th birthday party this past September.

These pictures where taken about two weeks ago at my Cousin Cecilia's funeral, it's rare Grandma felt well enough to travel in town let alone to Wenatchee where the funeral was, but the trip went well and she was so grateful she got to go and my Mom and I had fun laughing at her put my Dad in his place when he was trying to maneuver her wheelchair. She's pictured here first with my cousin Molly (Cecilia's Daughter) and then next with Molly again, my father, me, and my Aunt Kim.

Man I'm really gonna miss that bright smilingly face of hers!

"We should all have one person who knows how to bless us despite the evidence, Grandmother was that person to me." ~Phyllis Theroux


Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Oh man, Emily, this was a beautiful post . . . and the feeling came through so strong and clear. Her saying "I love you . . . more than my luggage" made my throat get hot. What a sweet, sweet woman to be thinking of what would make you feel good while she was struggling herself.

I'm sorry she's gone. You're in my thoughts. Lucky you for having such a good woman to love and to be loved by.

Jenifer said...

Emily, I'm so sorry for your loss. How hard. What a blessing to have had those moments with her at the end, and to know how much she loves you!

T.Allen-Mercado said...

What a touching post, Emily. It sounds like Grandma West was awesome, may her legacy live on. Your family is in my thoughts of grace, strength and healing. Be well, all of you. (Hugs)

Samantha said...

Beautiful post. It sounds like a wonderful blessing to have had so many great moments with her. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Katie said...

Oh, Emily. I am so sorry about your Grandma. I just teared up reading this. What a special moment to share. I'm thinking of you!

Alicia West said...

Hey Emily it is your cousin Alicia. Beautiful post about grandma. There is nobody more special to me then she was. She has left a lasting impression on all of us and I could not ask for a better grandparent. Love you!
Love Alicia

Lani said...

This was beautiful Emily! You are very blessed to have had and have a woman like that to love you. (((HUGS)))

Anonymous said...

Right here is the perfect webpage for everyone who really wants to find out about this topic.
You know a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally would want to…HaHa).
You certainly put a new spin on a topic which has been written about for a
long time. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!

Also visit my blog post ... how you can last longer during intercourse