Monday, April 03, 2006


Sunday morning I got a phone call at 9:15am from my Dad, and I knew before I answered why he was calling. My maternal grandmother passed away during the night.

She's been sick for a long time, with a chronic lung disease that brought her already small frame down to just 66 pounds. She was tired of fighting for each breath and was ready to go.

My long-term memory is quite awful, so I only remember "snapshots" of memories when I was a child, spending time during the summer at my grandparents' house in Florence, Alabama. I remember that MeMaw always had frozen pizza (Totino's I think) for lunch while we were there (I think this was more for my brother because he was a Totino's nut). I remember that she had one of those standing hair dryers (the bowl kind like you see in salons) and I thought that was so cool. I remember that she cut coupons, and kept them in a book with her rebates. We got a lot of toys with those rebates, like California Raisins figurines and plush fruit toys (I think that was Del Monte) - I had a peach at least. MeMaw made THE BEST plum preserves. During the summers we would have fresh peaches from their peach trees, with sugar on top, and ice milk, which I can't find anymore so maybe I'll learn how to make it. She always had a loaf of banana or zucchini bread, or a cake, on hand - usually out of her freezer. She used to drive us around in her little red Toyota Corolla with white vinyl interior (probably an '84) that I thought was such a cool little car as a child.

MeMaw was the youngest of a lot of brothers and sisters - I don't even remember how many, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 11 or 13 seems right - and cared for at least two that I know of until they passed away, some years ago. She was given that same care by my PaPaw, and her daughters (including my Mom) and son, and Hospice of the Shoals, which provided nurses to care for her at home during her final days. She was able to die peacefully at home, and I'm sure that's what she wanted.

I was not her closest granddaughter, but I'll miss her.


Anonymous Jamie said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother. What a blessing, though, that she was able to die at home. Thanks for sharing your memories about your MeMaw.

4/03/2006 11:33 PM  
Blogger Cityslicker Mom said...

I'm sorry about your grandma. ((hugs!)).

4/03/2006 11:55 PM  
Blogger Pattie said...

What nice memories. A few of those things you mentioned remind me of my own grandmother, who passed away 10 years ago. I'm sorry for your loss, Emily.

4/04/2006 6:16 AM  
Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

I'm sorry for you and your family's loss. I'm glad she died peacefully.

4/04/2006 6:29 AM  
Anonymous R*belle said...

I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother. My grandmother is from Montgomery, Alabama and has always been the image of what I think women should be.

4/04/2006 9:34 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Thanks to everyone for your condolences.

4/05/2006 1:45 PM  
Blogger texasinafrica said...

I'm so sorry, Emily. Prayers and a hug from Uganda.

4/06/2006 3:38 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

I have a Meemaw and Papaw, too. I also have memories of lots of homemade goodies (jams, cinnamon rolls, bread, she canned her own vegetables, etc.) - my Meemaw is still alive but no longer the way I remember her, things are much harder for her to do now and it's so hard to admit that she's getting closer to the end of her time here too. I'm sorry about your grandmother - it's wonderful that you have so many fond memories.

4/06/2006 9:05 AM  
Blogger lynn r said...

Em, I'm so sorry about your grandmother. I think she would be honored by your memories of her, and I'm so glad to hear that she was able to be at home in a familiar place.

4/21/2006 12:19 PM  

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