Thursday, January 25, 2007

Goodbye, Grammy Sue

My dad just called. When I saw the caller ID, I knew what he was going to say. And I knew when I talked to her the day before yesterday that the call would be coming soon. I just didn't think it would be this soon.

She was a fiesty old bird who rarely had a cross word to say about anyone (one of the most shocking moments in my life was when she called my cousin's ex-wife "a four-square bitch.").

For years, I planned on interviewing her, taping her, to hear her story. She saw more change in her lifetime than I think any of us can even dream of: Commercial airlines. Jet engines. Antibiotics. Birth control pills. Cures for diseases that killed thousands but are now considered an inconvenience. AIDS. Space flight. Republicans in both houses (she HATED that). The end of smallpox. The 1918 flu. The reduction of TB to a treatable disease. The rise of drug-resistant TB. Microwave ovens. Air conditioners. Cars and houses that are affordable for all but the poorest people in the country. World War II (my grandfather was in Patton's Second Army). The Korean war. Vietnam. Nixon. Fluorescent bulbs. No smoking in the workplace.

I could go on and on.

Now, it's too late. I always thought there would be another opportunity. Another chance to delve into her history, to ask what she made of everything she saw in her life, more time to just talk.

I called her on Tuesday and I just knew. She was dying. Her body was giving out on her even though her mind was just as sharp as ever.

I told her that I would call her again today. While I was putting my daughter down for her nap, my grandma slipped away.

Call your family. Tell your friends you love them. Don't wait until there's no more time.


floreksa said...

{hug} We just got news about my grandpa's recovery today. Makes me want to run to the hospital this very minute.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Dyke One said...

may her memory be a blessing. I'm so sorry you didn't get the chance to videotape her.

Devan said...

So sorry about your Grammy. What a bummer that you didn't get the chance to videotape her.

nessa said...

I'm so sorry. My grandma passed when I was 16 and it is one saddest moments of my life. peace to you and your family at this time.