Over the last several days a lot has happened.
In a previous post I wrote about my sweet grandmother who was in the hospital after falling and then how someone had broken into her home. She’s still doing alright – at least as well as can be expected. The family though, has convinced her to move into a nursing home – at least temporarily. I really do hate this, but I feel it is for the best.
What is worse is that last Thursday two of my uncles and my mother had to tell her that another one of her children has passed away. My uncle Charles, the oldest of her eight children, was 68. This is the fourth son she has lost, including my father. The only comment she made that entire day regarding the loss was that half of her children were gone now. Aside from that and a few other sweet words, she remained quiet most of that day.
In her 85 years she’s been a fiery spirit – a woman I have admired. She’s seen things and lived through hardships I have only read about in textbooks. Just like anyone her age, she’s watched as businesses folded and bread lines formed during the Depression. She’s experienced life in a textile mill village. She’s prayed for the safe return of her husband, her brother and two sons as they spent their days fighting for our country’s freedoms in a war far away. She’s provided for her family working as a seamstress and come home each night with bloody fingers. She’s protected and cared for her eight children and worried as they experienced a multitude of health problems. She’s battled her own health issues. And she’s watched as her entire immediate family, her husband and now four of her children have slipped from this life to the next.
Through all of these struggles, she’s been a fighter. She’s always found the strength and courage to move ahead. However, this time with Uncle Charles, the fight and strength that I’ve seen in her so many times before during occassions such as these seems to be missing. This time is different. I’m not sure if it’s her age or her health, but this time she actually looks and acts defeated. Defeated by life – like this was just one last tragedy that was just one too much.
I pray for her that somewhere she’ll find that strength inside her again to get through this. She’s such an important person to me and our family. She’s an amazing woman who has set a tremendous example – one of which I will never live up to.
As for my uncle’s funeral – all went as well as it could. I handled the loss quite well. Especially since it was the first funeral I had attended since my own father’s two years ago. It was a little strange being in that place with that group of family, his family, and not having him there to hand out orders and talk to everyone in the room. My mother told me later she felt this strange expectation to see him enter the room at any minute. I suppose the worse moment for me, aside from hearing about Charles’s death, was reading his obituary the following morning. I was sitting at home alone and as I read the words it hit me, my father was on the other list of family members – the preceded in death section. The obituary read… “He was preceded in death by three brothers, Johnny, Tommy, and Ronald.” It was the first time I had seen that. I had a moment and then it was over. I gathered myself together and finished getting ready to go to work. I suppose through my life, little occassions, little moments such as this one will always happen that remind me just how much I miss him.
So I’m praying for my family. Especially for my grandmother, for Charles’s family, and for a few others that are also spending their days in a hospital right now as well. Hopefully my next post will bring better news.