After coming home from our trip to see Grandma on Saturday afternoon, I went to the library to get a couple of books. As I browsed the biography section, I discovered a book titled Any Given Day. It was written by Jesse Lee Brown Foveaux, who was born in 1899. She had a rich, interesting life, and when she was 80 years old she joined a writing class for senior citizens. The assignment was to write stories about their lives. When the writing teacher read what Jesse had written, he was so impressed that he worked to share it with others. She became a published author at the age of 98 and the book that she wrote for her family (she & her alcoholic husband had eight children) was one I read in one day. It tells the story of her life, and the ending chapters are letters and words for her family.
As we are in the process of loving and praying for Rich’s dear Grandma through the end of her life, these quotes were all the more dear to me.
“The main things to guard against as you fight the battle of life are hate, envy, jealousy, and selfishness.” pg. 252
“Keep playing that guitar and singing; music is good medicine for us all.” pg. 266
“I am not sorry that I don’t have a lot of money to leave you. That makes too many problems. I have watched so many things happen over money while staying with sick people through their last days. I have seen strange things. People who had the least worldly goods seemed to be the ones most loved by their family and friends.” pg. 274
“I am thankful for each year, each month and day I am permitted to be up and busy. I look back on a life of hard work, and I have decided it was good for me. I’m just thankful that I was able to get it done.” pg. 276
“I realize that my happy days can come to an end anytime,
so I shall just enjoy each day.” pg. 280
Rich’s Grandma, Sarah Lillian, has had cancer for several years. She is in her 90’s now and in a nursing home. Aunt Phyllis had a few little things that she gave to the girls and I this weekend. I love the collection of old handkerchiefs. They were each folded neatly, and placed in silk fabric folders.
We brought home Grandma’s old dresser, for Gracie. Grandma was so pleased that we would take it. It originally belonged to Grace’s Great-Great Grandma.
But we would rather keep Grandma forever than to bring home her things.
Rich lovingly put it together in our daughter’s room, and then came down stairs to lay his head down in my lap and cry.
Being a family that loves reading, I was able to take home a few of her books for the children.
Rich looked through her bookcase, and found a book to look at while us ladies were busy. It was a book by J. Vernon Mcgee and it was about different men and women of the Bible. After looking through the table of contents, he went to the page that he wanted to read……and found a letter that his mother had written to Grandma in 1995. It was the year he and I were married and we were mentioned in the letter. He brought this book home with him, along with the letter.
Some of Grandma’s pretty perfumes and lipsticks, (mostly AVON products) nestled among her scarves, in one of her baskets.
Here at home, we put out one of her handmade hankies, and Grace picked some flowers for the table.
It’s bittersweet, having some of Grandma’s little things, in our home.
(Aunt Phyllis gave me her old Polaroid camera, too!)
Rich’s Dad called Rich last week, to let him know Grandma wasn’t feeling well. Rich took Friday off and we went with just the girls, to go see Grandma, wondering if it would be for the last time.
Thankfully, she was feeling much better on Friday, although it was a surprise to me that she is now on oxygen. Other than that, and a pair of beautiful but tired looking blue eyes, she was, to our comfort, the same wonderful lady she has always been. We were even able to take her outside in the hot sunshine. Rich pushed her wheelchair, after jokingly asking Grandma if she was sure she trusted his driving.
We met Aunt Phyllis on our way out and the six of us sat outdoors to visit. I had my camera but wasn’t sure I would take any photos, until I happened to notice, as the rest of us were talking over their heads, a silent Sarah and a silent old Grandma, together. Grandma was touching Sarah on the back, stroking her shirt, giving her little pats. Quietly sharing a moment under the warm sun.
And then Sarah,who is named for her Great Grandma, picked her some flower pedals.
It was hard to leave her that day, but we are comforted that she has the care and attention she needs, she’s had a lifelong relationship with the Lord, and as we have a big loving family, she is never lonely. Her 95th birthday is June 30 and we hope to go visit her again, soon.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians4:16-18