My Mamaw that I knew as a kiddo has been gone for a while now. Dementia had set in a few years ago, and her memories would come and go. Most of the time she knew me, but there were days she thought I was my Mom (her daughter). We would sit and talk about old times and she would smile. Up until a few months ago she would still tell me she loved me. Towards the end she still tried. I would just kiss her head and tell her I knew she loved me and I loved her.
I wanted this to be over for her. That weighs on your heart a bit....wishing for someone to pass on.
The nursing home had called the family in about 15 times this past month thinking it was time. We would all rush to her side, only for her to survive 1 more day. Monday they called. Everyone was out of town.
Everyone but me.
I dropped what I was doing and went. When they called I was on my way to church. I was getting ready for Vacation Bible School, so I had a huge tub of crayons in my car. It was 90 something outside, and I didn't want to leave those crayons in the new car. I lugged my big, brown, box inside and headed toward her room. As I rounded the corner I noticed her door was closed. Then I saw the nurses walking toward me.
I had just missed her. My Grandma had passed alone.
I sat in the hallway with my big, brown box of crayons and silently cried. Not because it was a shock, but because she had no one with her to hold her hand. No one to tell her it would be ok and over soon. They let me in to see her, and I sat with her for a while until everyone else could get there.
I'm going to be straight with you- I have hang-ups with death. Those are scars of my heart that we will talk about at a later time, but you should know they are there. I know where I am going when this life ends, but I've had some run-ins with death these last few years that have done a number on me. This didn't help.
I keep telling myself that what I saw was a shell, a coat, a weak body left behind. My Mamaw is no longer in pain and confined to a bed. She is free. She is happy. She is with her Maker, her Savior, her Lord.
The showing and funeral were this week, and it was good to see all of the people Mamaw had touched in this life. Sometimes you forget that the person you think of as "Mamaw" was also daughter, friend, wife, and mother. It was comforting to hear stories of the Mary Ellen who was a knock-out, ever-so petite, spunky, and amazing mother to her 5 children.
Mamaw and Papaw's love story was a sweet one. They got married very young, and Mamaw became pregnant with their first child, Larry. Papaw left for the war when she was barely starting to show. His McIntosh family took her in while he was gone. Papaw's sister, Eva, became Mamaw's best friend. (Remember Aunt Eva's house I blogged about? That be the one.) Larry was born. Larry celebrated 3 birthdays before Papaw ever got to meet him. When he returned they raised 5 children together. He loved her more than anything else in this world. He's been gone 20 years.
I am rambling. I know this. I apologize. Next blog with be better, I promise.
So, I will leave you with snip-its of the Mamaw McIntosh we lost but heaven gained this week.....