Friday, June 14, 2013

My Nona, may you be in peace.

Nona with Tom cat

As the years went by, Nona said the darnedest things.
Every time we visited she became a little quirkier, a little more repetitive.

"The Cat wants in."

I wish I had gotten to know her better earlier on.
When you are young, you don't think about these things.
Then all of a sudden you are old...and so is everyone else.
Then it's too little, too late.

"Have some more ice cream. 
There is ice cream in the icebox"

When you are 12 you aren't thinking
 ** I should write this down**

Goofing around as newly weds

I remember the day Grandpa died.
All of us were there and the whole thing was bizarre.
It was completely sudden and unexpected.
And in the middle of a high school graduation.
All of us rushed to the hospital following the ambulance.

I remember Nona in the waiting room.
The only time I ever saw her cry.
She yelled out,
" But, I'm not done with him yet"
It broke my heart....she had been with him almost her entire life.

opening wedding gifts, silver flatware

"Are you hungry? Have something to eat."

But she carried on.
She learned to use the computer.
To pay her bills.
To write a check.
To do basically everything.
All her life Grandpa had done all these things.
She had never even driven, he always had.
He was always in charge.
And that was fine.
That worked for them.
But when he passed, he left her utterly unprepared.

"Next time I see him, he will be walking!"

She said she saw her Mom on the morning of Grandpa's passing.
She appeared to her in the bathroom at home.
She said, "It's not your time yet."
Nona didn't know what it meant....till that night when Grandpa was taken from her.

"Do you ever talk to that nice boy you dated in California? Is he married yet?"

Over the course of the last 2 weeks Nona's health has deteriorated.
Her only wish was that she remained at home till the end.
She talked more frequently about seeing Grandpa again.

"Cat wants in."

We watched her slowly drift away.
During the 2 weeks, strange things happened.

Nona has always had cats.
Her and Grandpa were the epitome of  cat people.
Normally they had 4-6 cats at a time.
This last year she was down to just a mere 2.

Last week, one night a cat no one had seen before ( not a neighbors or stray) showed up on Nona's back porch.
He sat and stared in the back door a while.
Then left.
A few hours went by and another cat showed up and did the same thing.
 It sat  and looked in for a bit...then left.
 The next morning a third cat showed up on the front porch and sat outside Nona's bedroom window looking in.

The cats, they know.

As far back as I can remember, the coffee pot was always on.
Nona and Papa drank coffee all day, every day.
Last week .....the coffee pot crapped out.

The coffee pot, it knows.

Clark's baby shower
Grandpa built clocks as a hobby.
As a result, their house is filled with a dozen grandfather clocks
( One for each daughter and Granddaughter)
Grandma wound those clocks like it was nobody's business.
Like her tribute to Grandpa each day.
Every visit there, was interrupted by the incessant bing bong of chimes.

This week Nona had become bed bound.
To weak to get up and slipping in and out of consciousness.
We left all the clocks alone, didn't wind them or set the chimes.

A bedtime scan was done of the house before lights out.
Everything in it's place, a place for everything.
Next morning, one of the glass clock doors was wide open.

Did the clock know? 
Or did Grandpa stop by to check in on things.
Probably irritated that no one wound the clocks.
He was a marine.
His clocks were always precise and you could bounce a quarter off the bed.

Thursday morning Nona passed.
Finally she can be with her love.
Her family that she hasn't seen for many years.
Her sister, who she spoke of frequently

"I wish Mary could have met him ( Clark)"

And the final oddity.
The following day (Friday) just happens to be the 10th anniversary of Grandpa's passing.
I'd like to think this was perfectly planned.
It wasn't just a strange coincidence.
It was love.
It was faith.
It was her soul's journey.

I am beyond thankful that she was around for so much of my life.
That I was able to bring back a spark in her when I moved to San Diego and she remembered the old days, when she and Grandpa lived there.
 She came to visit me. Twice.
Not having flown before that for decades.
She eagerly boarded a place.
We went to the old apartments where she had lived.
I will always treasure that.

She got to see me get married.
She got to hold my first child.
There are so many good memories I will always have.

My wedding day 
Bridal Shower
Clark's birthday
I will always miss her.
But to know she is with the love of her life makes it all okay.
I know it's the circle of life and I know it's not scary.
She is at peace, finally.
I just wish I could say goodbye. one. last. time.

See you later Ellen.

1 comment:

Lindsi said...

Oh, Grace. This is a beautiful post! I am so, so sorry for your loss. This is a great tribute to her, and your grandfather!