A Clean and Quiet House- The Matriarch

This week is a sort of prequel to the other Clean and Quiet House posts. I'm going to work on getting up a link to the rest of them over on the side of the blog but for now, I'm going to go to bed. If you are in a bad way to learn more about my family faster because you have nothing better to do with your time then memorize my family tree, you could always check out the link to my Aunt Lisa's book over on the side there. It's full of great family stories.


Grandma, Punk, Birdie and I in 1987

There is so much to say about this fine photo from 1987. Birdie's awesome glasses. You know you want a pair. Punk's crazy perm and cheesy smile. My inability to PUT DOWN THE SNACK. No, I didn't choose to share this picture with you to make you hungry; it's because of my Grandma.

Much like my adopted siblings, my Grandma was a bit of a lost child. She was born as the result of her mother's affair with an older married man. Her mother came around once and awhile, but she only saw her father once and from what I gathered, he never spoke to her. She lived with her grandparents until she was a teenager. She then moved in with her Aunt Margie and Uncle Clarence, and they loved her. Loved her and guided her.

My Grandma got married when she was seventeen. She actually had high school exams on her wedding day. She failed them all. She had five children, one stillborn, but the other four (all girls) have grown and had children of their own. Two of those daughters also went on to adopt more children after their biological children were grown. All told, she had 20 grandchildren, and there are now 7 great-grandchildren.

My Grandmother, Joyce, was diagnosed with breast cancer that spread to her spine and brain. She died the week of Bella's first birthday. She was 64. I had briefly considered writing about her at the beginning of October because of this being breast cancer awareness month. I guess I didn't because, for me, she wasn't an example or a sob story to convince you to get your boobies squeezed (though you should); she's my grandma. Mine and I loved her.

She took me to Busch Gardens, rented movies and stayed home with me to watch them when I had the flu, taught me how to knit (or at least she tried) and made my wedding cake. When I had Bella, my grandma was a post-op inpatient at the hospital I delivered at  and the nurses brought her down to see her brand new great-grandbaby. Obviously this picture means a great deal to me.

Great-Grandma with Bella

I was visiting with my grandma a few months later and she was trying to teach me how to knit and she heard the phone ring in the other room. Someone else answered it, but she stopped what she was doing and listened to hear who was calling. After her pause, she turned to me and explained,
I was just trying to hear if that was my doctor. I'm waiting to hear the results from my last brain scan. If the tumor has re-grown, I won't be having another surgery. It'll be the streets of gold for me.

I've always been grateful that she shared that with me. It let me know that she was ready to meet her Savior. When she passed away a few months later, her whole family was gathered at her bedside praying and singing hymns. When the hospice worker announced that my grandma had breathed her last breath and was gone, each of us felt the loss of a spouse, a mother, a grandmother and a friend, but knowing that she was ready to meet her Saviour brought me comfort. Even though I miss her still, I find so much peace in knowing that she no longer suffers and that she walks with her Lord.


coach said...

Joyce was an awesome lady and that's really all I have to say. It is a shame that she died so young, but obviously God had a plan.

Dione said...

Your post made me remember my sweet mother in-law who died 11 years and 10 days ago. I think of her often. She left a legacy of love and faith. It sounds like your grandmother was a lot like her.

Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.