Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I miss...

I miss my grandmother.  I was lucky enough to still have four grandparents alive when I was born.  Unfortunately one grandpa died when I was five and I have little to no memory of him, but the rest stuck around until I was an adult.  I miss them all, but in particularly I miss my Grandma Helen.  She lived to be nearly 95, living alone and kicking our butts at Scrabble almost until the end.  I always thought she was this really proper lady - until I was in my 20s and first saw photos of her from her teenage years, shooting a gun, taking joyrides in the family car, camping...She and her sisters, there were four of them all together, were just awesome old women.  We went to a family reunion in Missouri in 1995 with three of them, when they would have been in their 80s, and they hopped in a raft to go down the river with the rest of us.  1995 being the year of the absolutely hellish weather - hot and humid and drought all across the midwest, with animals dropping over dead from heat exhaustion in their pastures.  I had to hop out and haul the rafts over sandbars about every 5 minutes all the way.  No water, no shade, and it took a LONG time.  And those old gals just enjoyed the hell out of themselves with no complaints.  I loved those women!  What a great legacy of living life.

I also miss my white boxer Ande.  She had a pituitary brain tumor which led to a lot of physical problems, and we nursed her through her "hospice" stage for a couple years before I had to have her put down in 2010.  I knew it was time (congestive heart failure had set in and she couldn't breathe) and she and I did it together, but I am tearing up at the thought of it, and have regrets that I didn't pet her long enough or say enough gentle words to her before the end...I can only imagine how folks who live through the passing of a loved human family member forever wish they just had one more minute to say one more thing to their loved one.  I am fortunate enough to have not experienced that yet with a human family member.

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