My grandmother is in the final stages of death. It's not a pretty sight when someone lingers from the effects of the body just wearing out. See, she's 93 and has been having some mini-strokes for several years. It had affected her memory - minuscule at first, but eventually to the point that the last time Drew and I visited, she didn't know who we were.
When Mom called on Monday evening to say that Nanny had deteriorated over the weekend, I knew the end was approaching. K and I went yesterday to more or less say goodbye...not really knowing how long she will hang on in this state. She has defied doctors predictions many times. See, she's a strong-willed woman.
Memories...I remember that strong woman as someone who expected you to do the right thing. Who expected you to act like a lady. Who wore a hat to church. Who taught the ladies in Sunday School. Who never gave you an option on Sunday mornings - you went to church. Who also enjoyed taking me to new places in South Carolina. Who would cook me French fries for breakfast. Who could smell up a home with a wonderful Sunday roast. Who came up during a time when there was little money and hard work. We would hang laundry out on the clothes line together. Who wasn't afraid of snakes, hornets or bees. Who tried to teach me not to show my fear. Who tried to put a little "country" into this "city" girl.
She will be missed. But this life she's living now is no life at all. Mom said this morning that she's humming her hymns. Now I call that a strong woman. When memory is gone, when this life is ebbing away, when all is said and done - we have our hymns. The hymns that connect us to our Jesus. Our HOPE, our COMFORT, our true LIFE. May God give me the grace to have at least a thimble-full of this woman's genes inside of me. For when all is said and done, I want to cling to Jesus.