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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Grandma Bushlack

This afternoon we got the call we were expecting now for the last few weeks but not really ready for. My mom and dad were up in Minnesota with my Grandma. She has passed away. I can't say that she has had the best life these last few years. Dementia had left her fearful, angry and not sure of very many things in her life. I wrote some about that when the girls and I went to visit her last summer.

I was finishing up a quilt that I am sewing when Dad called. It wasn't long after that when I came upstairs to get supper ready. I had put a roast in the crock pot so I pulled it out and Dawn helped me get the potatoes and carrots out while I made gravy. I never make gravy, especially when it is just our family eating. I always just tell the kids "pour some of the juice over it". I was about half way through waiting for the gravy to thicken when I remembered "Grandma always had gravy".

There are many things that I remember when I think about my Grandma. I have pulled out a few pictures that are some of my favorites...
This is when we first met. I was born in Biloxi, MS and
Mom and Dad had come home to visit.

I smile when I think about when Grandma and Grandpa came to visit us in Georgia. Of course we had to take them to the best fish house in Georgia!

This will always be the favorite picture I took of my grandparents...

Grandma drove down to Georgia with Mom and Dad the weekend that the triplets were born in September of 2002. I remember well when they arrived in the hospital room the day we were going to be discharged. Grandma with her trusty Polaroid camera came cocked and ready to start snapping pictures.

I was in the process of trying to get Ryan to nurse with the lactation consultant and Grandma was all over snapping shots at every angle. I have never seen those pictures but it makes me giggle every time I think of it now. She was so excited to be able to help. There was always something to do with the babies but when they were quiet Grandma was busy in the kitchen getting a meal put together or cleaning up after one.

We ended up eventually back in Iowa and the kids have some great memories of when Great Grandma came to visit. She always had a kid or two in her lap!

One winter she was here during a power outage at our house. We were hanging out over at Mom and Dad's where she was staying during her Iowa visit.

These pictures of Grandma with Dawn will always be special to me. Dawn has always had a little something special with Great Grandma.

She always wanted to sit on her lap or be close when she would visit. This is one of the afternoons when we were at Mom and Dad's. Grandma liked to tickle and as you can see, Dawn has those times to remember. The last picture that Dawn took with Grandma was just a couple weeks ago after Christmas on December 27th. Dad was going up to visit because Grandma took a turn for the worst. Dawn asked me if she could go and I knew that Dad would love her company and that it would do Dawn's heart good too. I knew that Dawn would represent our family and she did, holding Grandma's hand and singing to her.

Matthew hasn't gotten to know Great Grandma as well since she was already in the nursing home and not remembering as well when he came around. It was the annual Christmas party and I had a three-month-old (and four others under eight). I remember it being a struggle to get things together to attend.

I am so glad that we did. As soon as we walked in I went over to give Grandma a hug. She wanted to hold Matthew right away. I remember how much she loved holding him. It was a special memory I will never forget because in the craziness of getting everyone ready and down the road, the visit with Grandma made it all worthwhile.

I will close with the last picture I have with Grandma. I rode along with Mom and Dad on a trip to Minnesota. We stopped in at the nursing home to visit with Grandma. She wasn't having the best of days. Eventually though, we were able to sit and talk and I remember it as the last time we had a conversation where I am sure that she knew she was talking to me. It was three and a half weeks after my double mastectomy in August of 2013.

She was a breast cancer survivor too and we talked about that as we sat. As you can tell, we shared other topics that were not so serious. It was fun making Grandma smile or laugh. Dad was good at that and I would like to think that I was too. I think that I have been missing Grandma already these past years since then. It was hard when we visited the last time last summer and we couldn't really talk or share life. Grandma lived a long life and I am glad. She has missed Grandpa every day since he has gone. I am thankful for a grandma who has left me with so many fond memories and I pray that like her I can be a survivor who lives til I am at least 96!

1 comment:

  1. I identify with your last paragraph. My mother's mother was bedridden and unable to communicate the last 4 years of her life. When she died, it wasn't even sad to me, since I felt like the Grandma I knew had been gone for quite awhile already.