Monday, September 6, 2010

Saying Goodbye to a Grandma of 97 Years...

(Note, the pictures in this post were not taken during the incident I am about to describe, but were taken during a previous visit. They are to be used for visual aid only, not as a depiction of the actual event. However, the woman pictured is really my grandma, and the boy is really the 18-year-old boy.)

No, she didn't die, but this weekend, the 18-year-old boy had to say good-bye to his grandma before leaving for his two-year mission. If you do the math, and you probably have, this could very well be their last good-bye. It was sad, but for those of you who know my grandma, she may have lost her mind, but she HAS NOT lost her wit.

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When we come into the house where my grandma is cared for, she usually knows who my mother is, or sometimes she thinks she's her other daughter, but most of the time she doesn't recognize me and certainly doesn't recognize my children. She doesn't like this brought to her attention, though, so we just hug her and say hi grandma, and she figures it out. She is always absolutely thrilled to see us, and during this visit, she seemed to have more wits about her than usual. When my mother walked in and announced, "We've come to visit you for your birthday, Mom!", my grandma said dryly, "You're late." And we were, by four days.

Along for the visit were the 18-year-old boy, obviously, the 10-year-old boy, the 8-year-old girl, Baby Hippo, and my mother and I. I could tell you why the other kids didn't come, but that would take too long. Anyways, after visiting for a few minutes, I told her that the 18-year-old boy was going on a mission (of which all Mormon grandmas are very proud), and that she wouldn't be seeing him for two years. Upon hearing this, she immediately burst into tears, put her face in one hand, and cried, "Oh! I wish you wouldn't have told me that!"

The 18-year-old boy looked at me nervously, as he had never seen her cry, and I looked nervously back. Like a good boy, though, he put his hand on her arm in an attempt to comfort her, and said, "But Grandma, don't be upset, I'll be serving The Lord."

She immediately stopped crying, pulled her hand away from her face, fluffed her hair with it, and said, "Well, tell Him hello for me."

I was already quite teared up about seeing her cry, but I immediately burst into tears of laughter upon hearing this, and the 18-year-old boy wasn't far behind.

During the course of the visit, which was about an hour long, every ten minutes or so she would place her hand on the 18-year-old boy's knee, smile, and say, "So, your going on a mission." We were glad she could remember back ten minutes. During one of her realizations, she looked into his eyes, and patting his knee in time to her words, said, "18-year-old boy, I am going to miss you every.... damn... day."

After we burst out laughing again, she said that damn wasn't a bad word, but that she wasn't going to say it again.

There were many more instances where we were ROFL (chat talk for rolling on the floor laughing), and as I said, more good times than bad during this difficult good-bye. I can only imagine how the 18-year-old boy must have felt as he hugged her for what will be the last time in two years, or much longer. It was a visit we won't soon forget. I love my grandma. :)

(Here she is with the 18-year-old boy, enraptured by his conversation, then comparing trigger fingers...)

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Thanks for listening...

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16 comments:

Janiece said...

yep made me cry.
When my oldest left on his mission we did not think his Grandpa would still be here on earth when he returned...3 missionaries later Grandpa is still hanging around.

alessandra said...

I quote janiece: 3 missionaries later Grandpa is still hanging around.
It's the same thing I thought about your Grandma.
Who knows, 97 and she's still young ;) and full of wit.
And thanks for explaining ROFL, you saved me a search :D

Kristin said...

Oh man - I gotta get down there.

Jenna @ Newlyweds said...

What a sweet story, surely brought tears to my eyes.

Stephanie said...

Beautiful story, Grandma is precious.

Bellismom said...

This post had me laughing like crazy and boohooing like a little baby! Thanks for sharing!

Connie said...

Mittie is one-of-a-kind! Appears 18 year-old-boy has grown into a fine young man! Good luck to him!

The Farmer's Wife said...

Oh Jen....I am sitting here bawling like a baby! Just mention the "M" word and the flood gates open up....ahhhhhhh.....you are going to have to show me that a Mom can survive this moment....gracefully...I do have my doubts (about myself) of course. Hugs to you and your family and espeically the Noble Connor...as he begins the next phase of his life. I had planned to come up on Sunday for his "farwell" but it is our Stake Conf. and I am guessing that The Farmer might want me there with him.....sigh.....Love you Jen!!

SimplyForties said...

Thank you for sharing such a special story! Good luck to your son.

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

FW, now you are going to make ME cry!~ We will have to talk about this in person!

sillysiller said...

awesome post. My son will be leaving on a mission too, in the next two weeks. Hope your son has a great mission and that your grandmother will be around to see him return with honor. My friends grandmother lived until she was 103..can you believe it?

Melinda said...

Oh my gosh I would love to meet yoru grandma. I love when the elderly say funny and sometimes innapropriate things....LOL I am still laughing.

What a sweet visit it must have been.

Jane said...

Your post today really touched my heart. I remember the day when I said good-bye to my grandmothers when I did a study-aboard program. (I know it's not the same as going on a mission & being gone for two years but the feelings are the same.) I was so worried my grandmothers would be gone before I came home. Fortunately, they were not and went on to live six more years each. I miss them every day since their passing.
Your grandmother reminds me of mine - the wit - it's to die for. I miss having a wiser elder to listen to - stories & advice.
Have courage & be strong. Your son is on a goodly path. And may your grandmother out live us all!

ajwhet10 said...

Thanks Jen! It's 6:40 pm, and that was my first laugh of the day -- much needed!!! (My mom is nearly 96, so I understand a bunch.)

Tracy Suzanne said...

Hi Jen. You're post about your Grandma is so touching. My own Grandmother lived to be 93 and I was just crazy about her, I was 13 when we lost her. 97 years old that is quite an age. I just loved hearing how your son was able to connect with her before leaving on his mission. We're caring for my 90 year old MIL with Alzheimer. It is so difficult. Your post was a pleasant blessing to read.

Hugs...Tracy :)

Julie said...

Such a sweet story. What a great memory this will be for your son when he looks back years in the future.