My husband’s grandmother passed away a few weeks ago at the impressive age of 97. Until early December she was mentally sharp and only about a year ago had moved into an assisted-living facility. While she had been in pain from back problems for a few years, she was pretty healthy and hardly ever complained about having to use a cane and then eventually a walker and wheelchair.
I was worried how my almost 4yr old would react to her death. He really liked visiting her, especially when she still lived at home, on “the farm,” which had apple trees, llamas and a gorgeous view of Mt. Hood. Prior to the graveside service last Friday, my husband explained to him that Great-Grandma was sleeping in a pretty pink box until Jesus comes. While the minister sang Blessed Assurance, Future President told us that she could hear us singing. I don’t know how much he understands about death, but he was respectful and quiet at the graveside and at the memorial service on Saturday.
Junior, on the other hand, decided that both the graveside service and memorial were great times to eat. Let me tell you, I never thought I’d have to breastfeed in a cemetery. The worst part was that it was pouring rain so everyone had to crowd under the tarp for the short service and I was barely able to keep covered up as Junior has decided he hates being covered while nursing and now tries to swat the blanket away.
Grandma was a wonderful woman with very strong opinions – a baby’s bottom should always be powdered at a diaper change; a man should always be clean shaven; Christmas cards should be handwritten; pumpkin nog should always be made with molasses; and gravy always made in a cast iron skillet. I will miss her stories of life in South Dakota and the loving way she interacted with my boys. If it weren’t for her, I would never know about Trot Trot to Boston or Princess Loaf.