Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Miss Mary, 1916 - 2010

My Dad's mother passed away early Monday morning.  Mama Mary was 94 1/2 (the half was important) and quite honestly, I thought she'd make it to 100.  She was a tough one, never the type of grandmother who scooped me up and plopped her in her lap.  But she cared for us by cooking, and honey, could she ever whip up a spread of creamed corn, green beans and corn bread.  I know there were other things on the table but those were my favorites.

I'm relieved Mama Mary's not suffering any more.  Towards the end she was having difficulty breathing and Mom said she appeared to be in a lot of pain.

I'm relieved for my parents to have the constancy of caring for her end.  It is difficult, to say the least, to care for the dying.  That's not the politically correct thing to say - I should be saying, "Oh, it was an honor and joy for my parents to care for her."  And while that's true, it doesn't negate how incredibly difficult that kind of care is.

The service will be Thursday and I imagine it will be packed.  She lived in her little town for many years and was very involved in her church.  She also taught kindergarten for 30 years - any time I went into town with her we always heard, "Hey, Miss Mary!"  Our trips took longer than planned because we had to stop and talk to so many church friends and former students.

All day yesterday, all I could think of was the first part of Question 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism:

Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?

A. That I am not my own,
but belong—
body and soul,
in life and in death—
to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.

And while we are perplexed, we do not despair because of this great hope, a hope I am thankful my grandmother shared. 

Mama Mary, 1916

The whole family at Mama Mary and J's 50th wedding anniversary, 1986.  Although I just realized the in-laws aren't in the picture - what's with that?!

The kids with Mama Mary last October.