Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Grandma Doris

"Life is a stocking," Grandma says, "And yours has just begun."
"But I am knitting the toe of mine, and my work is almost done." (19th century rhyme)

I said goodbye to my Grandma Doris this weekend. Thanks to all of you for your prayers for her. She went in the hospital last week with congestive heart failure and had a "mini stroke" on Sunday that affected her right side. Still, tests show her heart is still relatively strong, though obviously she is declining. She could have another stroke and not be able to talk, though. So my sister and I decided to drive up to northern Wisconsin to see her. It was a good visit; we spent about three and half hours with her on Saturday and about two on Sunday. She was in decent spirits but also seemed like she was letting go.

The quintessential saver, she was even letting go of her stuff. She had wanted us to go over to her place at the assisted living center and go through her clothes and things to see if there was anything we wanted to take. Amy and I both have a lot of cool stuff from my grandma, as she has slowly been doling it out to family. She really was the pack rat of all pack rats (it must be where I get it!) It was weird going through her stuff without her to tell a story about each piece, but of course she has written notes attached to almost everything. I thought these vintage handkerchiefs were cute.

I have a few pieces of jewelry from her already, but took these two vintage pins and fun 70s earrings. The beads are jade and were a gift from my grandpa. She told me a story about how my grandpa's first gift to her was a tacky windmill tchotchke thing, but that she was honest about not wanting lots of knickknacks and he always gave her nice stuff after that.

This knitting bag is the coolest (thanks, Stacey, for pointing it out to me!). You can see a peek of what I knit in the car (Amy drove the whole way, including through the most awful fog I have ever seen). I also got a few clothes and books, too.

It's always sad when something like this is what prompts a trip to see relatives, but it was a really nice visit, even if less than 48 hours. We stayed with my Auntie Sue (I got a cool gift from her, too, which I'll post later) and got to visit with cousins Stacey, Kim and Kendra. And I got to tell my grandma how lucky I was to have a grandmother like her throughout my life, and that I would be sad that she might not meet my kids. She is a huge Packers fan, so I hope today's news that Brett Farve is retiring doesn't put her over the edge! At 96, she clearly is a fighter, but I also think her sock is almost finished.

8 comments:

Victoria said...

It's pretty amazing to think of the things a person sees and experiences in a life of nearly 100 years. I'm glad you have some of her treasures. I think I'll have a very very hard time saying goodbye to my Grandma when the time comes.

Heidi said...

I'm glad you were able to say goodbye this weekend so that hopefully when her time comes, you will be able to feel peace. How wonderful that you have a few tangible treasures to remember her by, in addition to all those you keep in your memory and heart.

Di said...

It sounds like your grandma is a pretty special lady and it sounds like you are going to have some amazing memories of her when the time comes!!

Beth said...

I'm glad you had a nice visit. My grandma had lots of things labeled, too, and it's nice to still have the story behind the items I have.

Sarah and Jack said...

((((Heidi))))

woof nanny said...

How wonderful that you got to spend some real quality time. And it's so nice that you treasure these things. I miss my grandparents so so much. We all really need that generation's solid influence.

Rebecca said...

What a wonderful tribute to Grandma Doris! My Grandmother's were both very special to me and one could have challenged your Grandma for the packrat title! I have many things that were hers and cherish them all. I know you will do the same with your memories. Hugs

Patsy said...

Glad you got to Rice Lake to see Doris,Hope I can get there also.