It was one year ago today (December 8th) that my dad's mother passed away. I had so much going on today that I didn't think about the date. I sure do miss her! You know how you have the "fun" Grandma and the "serious" Grandma? Well, this Grandma was the serious one, and as a child, I didn't have as much fun at her house as I did at my other grandmother's. Both of my grandmothers were equally loved and respected at my house, though, so I loved her just as much as my mother's mother. As I grew older, too, I found myself connecting with Grandma more. I began to understand her personality better, and as an adult, developed a wonderful relationship with her. She was pretty quiet. Sometimes she would say the "wrong" thing (not really wrong, just awkward), especially when she was flustered and not quite sure what to say. I've found that I inherited that tendency! I also inherited her thick, wavy hair and her body shape! We Holden ladies are a bit thick and wavy in the middle too! LOL
Grandma lived alone until the last of her 89 years. She forgot things occasionally, but she was still very alert up till her final hours. The picture to the left is of Grandma and me on her 88th birthday. We were able to be there with her that year - big party with much of the family! Of course, as she got older, Grandma was moving slower and slower, and she couldn't keep her balance very well sometimes. She began falling quite a bit that last year. Once, she fell down flat on her back and lay there all night, not wanting to bother anyone. Oh, my, how that hurt us when we found out she'd not called when she fell! It got to the point that she was getting hurt, and she began having a few other problems, so the doctor suggested putting her in an assisted-living facility. That was good for a bit, but then she fell there, too, and she had to go to a regular nursing home. Her little apartment was emptied, and she just took a few things with her to the nursing home. The last 6 months of her life brought problem after problem with her health, and it came down to the point that she wasn't able to get up and move around anymore. She was too weak to talk much or hold her head up anymore. The last time I called her, she was barely able to talk for a couple of minutes, and I decided I wouldn't put her through that anymore. I started calling only when I knew someone was with her so that they could tell her what I said. Bless her sweet heart!
Sometime around Thanksgiving, Grandma took a turn for the worse. I can't remember all the details. I do remember that my mom and dad got to come home from Mexico, so she had all 4 of her children around her. The first week of December was touch and go, and finally, on Wednesday afternoon, December 8, my dad called and told me that the nurse had called them all together. All of her children gathered around her that night, and they sang to her and talked to her as she passed out of this life. Even though she was so weak, she was still alert, and she mouthed "I love you" just before she passed away. I'm so glad the Lord allowed everyone to be there that night! Grandma had lived a quiet, peaceable life, and the Lord allowed the same for her death. When it comes down to the end, it won't matter if I had a big, new house, or whether anyone knew my name, or how much money I made. What will matter is my family. Grandma had a fine family, and I know she loved each one deeply, even though she was pretty shy about showing emotions. I sure do miss her, but it's just for a little while.
Last fall was tough for me. We had just moved to Canada when my mother's mother passed away. Then Grandma a couple of months later. There were times I thought I couldn't stand not being there to see each of them one more time, but the last time I saw them in SC, I knew it would probably be the last time. I had resigned myself to that, but the actual living of it was tough. But you know, with all the goodbyes here on earth, Heaven's hellos will be so much sweeter! Someday I can see my grandmothers, my parents, my siblings, my friends, and we can sit down to talk and fellowship together . . . and not have to dread saying goodbye! Won't that be a wonderful time?!