Thursday, July 17, 2008

Remembering Gama

My grandmother went to be with our Lord yesterday afternoon.  Her health has been gradually declining over the last year and has made her more susceptible to falls.  She had several during that time.  However, last Thursday she suffered a heart attack that left her heart at 20% capacity and her other major organs failing.  I was able to see her almost every day that she was in the hospital for a couple of hours and I am very thankful that I had plenty of time to say good-bye.  My parents were both by her side when she passed.  She lived a long life and was ready to meet her Savior.  Her funeral is planned for Saturday.
Gama has been my only living grandparent since I was 7 and really the only one I ever knew very well.  She lived in the same town as we did for most of my life, and for a good part of that, she was just down the street.  She played an integral role in my life and I would not be the same if she hadn't.  I remember spending my first nights away from home at her house.  She would always take me to Picadilly (a local Lubys- type) to get my favorite plate with Salisbury steak, broccoli with cheese sauce, and mashed potatoes with gravy.  
She made lots of clothes for us until I got "too old" for that.  
It really irritated her that I didn't think they were cool anymore.  =)  We spent lots of time up at the cleaners that she owned.  She worked hard all her life.  I try to imagine what it must have been like to be a single mom during that time and how much determination and perseverance it must of taken to overcome the obstacles for a woman to own a successful business by herself.  I don't think that she ever did it because she liked the idea of being successful or making money; she always said that she wanted to give my dad (and us) the best life that she could...and she did.  She bought me a car my Senior year of high school so that I could come back and forth from college the following year.
  
She always told me that a woman should have an education and skill to be able to support herself if she needed to.  Those weren't empty words because when it came time for high school graduation, she paid for me to go to college.  

Gama lived her whole life in the Monroe, LA area, but moved here several years ago to be close to all of us.  Three years ago, Charlton graduated from law school in Philly and we moved back to Houston because we wanted to build a home close to our families.   I spent two days a week with her our first year back and am so glad that I did.  It gave me a different perspective on what aging was like for her (she didn't like it), and how self-less her love was for her main concern to be a better life for us with the things that she suffered in her own life.  She wasn't very tactful or gentle about giving her opinions but I know her purpose was usually to help. 
 

In November, my parents moved down the street from us and she moved across town with them to a new assisted living facility close by.  
At that point she needed to be cared for by trained medical staff, but she was the one pushing for the move because she said she wasn't getting to see Steven enough.  We've tried to visit her once a week since she moved in.  No matter how she felt, she always lit up when she saw Steven.  In the last few months, he was getting really good at talking to her and showing her things and she loved that he was trying to interact with her.  I'm so glad that we have pictures of them together.  I hope that we will always be blessed by living so close to family and being involved in their lives like mine was by Gama.
   


12 comments:

Roxanne said...

that was really sweet, Laura. She was very blessed to have such a sweet and caring grand daughter who spent so much time with her. Your family will bein my prayers.

Jamie Rives said...

I love the pics of her and Steven--you can tell how much she loved being with her great-grandson!

We are praying for you guys.

Sean, Stephanie and Hattie said...

Laura, so sorry for your family's loss. She sounds like an amazing woman who really impacted your life. The loss of my grandmother was very hard on me and my family, but it is such a comfort to know that they are with the Lord and no longer suffering.

We'll be praying for your family.

Heather said...

Hey Laura - I am so sorry for your loss and praising God with you for your grandmother's full life. Your tribute gave a very good picture. I'll be praying for you and your family - give them all hugs from us.
We love you.

Anonymous said...

Laura, that was beautiful and made me cry. Your grandmother would have loved those kind words. She was well taken care of by your family and that is a real blessing. I am praying for each of you during this difficult week.

Love,
Brenda

Kim Davis said...

Laura,

You, your father, and your family are definitely in my prayers, especially tomorrow during the funeral.

The pics will be wonderful to have of Steven spending time with Gama. What an amazing granddaughter you are to spend so much time with her. I bet it meant the world to her to get to see you and Steven so often when she moved here.

Praying for you,
Kim

Hooked on Fishing said...

I know how hard it is to lose a grandparent your close to... I've lost two already. I really am sorry for your loss.

Kierstyn said...

Laura (and family) I'm sorry for your loss. She sounds like a wonderful woman! Our thoughts and prayers are with you today.

Kierstyn

Collegegirl said...

Very sorry for your loss! Grandparents are special and she will always be in your heart!
~Elyse~

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

I'm so sorry Laura.
:(

~the eight of us~ said...

What a blessing that you were able to be so close ... I am sure she will be as missed as she was loved. Our thoughts are with you.

Michelle Ann Stiles said...

This is so sweet! I cried. It makes me think about how precious my own grandparents were and are.

I just found your blog from Cheryl's! :)