Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Gonna Miss You Granny...

Ladies, this one is kinda sad, but I feel I need to write about it...

My Granny passed away tonight. She was 88 years old.

Before you say it - I know she is in a better place, and this was best, but it sure hurts me to the depth of my soul to have to let her go.

I have known this was coming for quite some time, as she has been headed downhill for the last several months. But, if you have ever experienced a loss after a lingering illness, you know how it is still very hard, even though it is for the best. I was steady in knowing that she would go soon, but I believe a hundred years could go by and I would still not be ready for it.

My Granny was one of a kind - thoughtful, kind, beautiful, short at 5 feet (but she grew when she was mad), a great story-teller, a good accomplice, always a good Christian, a good mother, a wonderful grandmother, a spectacular great-grandmother and the best back-scratcher I have ever known.

This woman put me to a peaceful sleep so many times, with the rhythmic sweep of her hand absently scratching my back, while she chatted away with the family ladies over some recent news or other. She never let up or missed a beat. The drone of the ladies chatting and the rhythmic sweep, sweep - it was as normal as breathing.

For all my years she has been the owner of the Christmas task "Names on the door", which is how she welcomed newcomers to the family - whether born or wed. She made SURE everyone you knew you were part of the family. She would purchase canned spray-snow and would write the name of the newcomer on the farmhouse door - so that when the family arrived they saw that you were an "official" member of the family.

Her two most famous lines are "Hello, Baby" and "Wuv Vu". How can two short lines sum up all her love for me any more clearly? At 33 years old those are the lines she greets me and leaves me with. I am still, and will always be, the baby.

She is the only person that says my name right D A W N, not Don. When people ask how to say my name - I tell them how she says it, and it makes everyone laugh. You see, she has a very country accent, and stretches out the "A" sound, and is sure to completely say the "W". I would have to demonstrate for the full effect.

She and my Grandaddy (he passed away several years ago) raised 3 children on a farm. They started out as share-croppers and worked their way to owning their own 250 acre farm. The family still owns the farm, and the farmhouse is lived in by my cousin.

Every year we have Christmas, Thanksgiving and all the other major holidays at the farm. It is a family staple, a tradition, a beacon to us to gather and be recharged with family love. I was probably 18 when I realized for the first time that other people I knew didn't have a family farm and some didn't have a huge loving family to commune with. It dawned on me that I had a Norman Rockwell portrait of my very own - the perfect jumble of silliness, quirkiness and outright love. I had taken it for granted for 18 years.

The only unresolved pain I have over it all is that, of all the female grandchildren I am the only one that never got to show her a prized great-grandchild. I know I can't beat myself up over this, and it does no good to say "what if" because it is too late. So, I am resolved to cast up my prayer to her when I am pregnant, and on that day I will be happy and know that she knows the news.

When my baby is born, I will hear voice say to my baby, "Ohhhh, what a beeeauuutiful baaaaby" and know that she is with me. I will know that Grandaddy is pulling back the corner to peak at the bundle in the blanket - I will see that big grin of his. I will know that they are together, happy, and very proud of me.

I am gonna miss you Granny. Wuv Vu!


Kristy said...

Dawn - I am so sorry for your loss but it sounds like you have a lot of great memories to comfort you.

She will definitely be looking down at you when you do give her a great grandchild with a smile :)


Gil said...

My condolences to you and your family on the loss of your grandmother. She was obviously a wonderful, caring, loving, beautiful person and you are lucky to have had so much time to spend with her. She will always be with you, and you with her.

Heather said...

I'm so sorry. Even when you know for a while, I don't think it makes it easier. I'll be thinking about you. If you want to talk, I'm here.

Kris said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family. She sounds like a wonderful lady.

deanna said...

I'm so sorry she's gone. She sounds like a very sweet, kind lady.

Take care....

Baby Blues said...

I'm sorry Dawn. She seems like a wonderful sweet, kind and enormously generous granny. Grandparents will always have a special place in our hearts.

serenity said...

She sounds like a wonderful person, and I am glad you have so many loving and happy memories of her.

And I am so sorry for your loss.

(I came to your blog from the cyclesistas site.)

Kel said...

Dawn, Your post in tribute to your grandmother was absolutely beautiful. It made sniffle, it made me smile, and it made me miss my own grandmothers. I'm sorry for your loss.

The Town Criers said...

Dawn--I'm so so sorry for your loss. Your grandmother sounded like an amazing woman.

Susan said...

My sincere condolences. She sounds like the perfect grandmother.

Debbie said...

I'm so sorry for your lose.

She sounds like a wonderful women and I'm sure she is in a better place.

My condolences,