My grandmother passed away this morning. She was the only grandmother I ever knew. She was 88 and had been in declining mental and physical health since my grandfather passed a few years ago.
Some of our friends and family get taken from us too early which leaves us shocked and grieving, like Mr C. This is not the case with Thelma. She lived a good life. She had a good marriage of over 60 years, two beautiful children(my mother and uncle), 5 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren.
In the past couple of years, she really didn't have much to live for that I could see. She didn't have anything that she enjoyed. I don't think she liked assisted living, although it was necessary for her to be there. All of her siblings preceded her. It just looks like it was time.
There were times back in Virginia when she was very different. She lived much of her life "in the country" surrounded by her brothers, sisters and life-long friends. She was at her best while everyone busy making a living or raising their children or spoiling their grandchildren.
Thelma will live on through the memories that we carry forward. Some of my strongest memories are:
- The pressure cooker full of collard greens on the gas stove top. I can hear the hiss and rattle right now.
- The house where she lived on 21st Avenue in Hopewell, VA.
- The huge white Olds 88 that she drove.
- The way she and my granddad were able to do things that defied the limits of age or energy like replacing the duct work in the crawl space of their house when they were in their 70s.
- her showing me how to mail a letter. We used a 5 cent stamp back then.
- her taking me and my younger brother to such movie classics as "Kansas City Bomber", and "The Neptune Factor"
- She was the cleaning-est person I've ever known. If she didn't get her vacuum cleaner on time, I think it would have come to get her. She once disassembled her over door to clean the inside of the glass. (or did we make that one up?) (Note: We didn't make that up. She also disassembled much of the inside of her dishwasher to clean it as well)
God bless and farewell, Thelma. We'll miss you.