Wednesday, September 12, 2007


My Grandma

I went to visit her last weekend. I feel so horrible because I don't like to visit her. She's in such horrible shape and I don't like seeing her in the condition she's in. I want to remember her the way she was. But I do my duty when I'm in her town and visit. I also feel horrible, because I don't like to take my boys to her house because it is so filthy. Luckily, I had an excuse not to take them this time, since they had colds, which she is too frail to be exposed to.

I won't go into too much detail about her current condition, but suffice it to say that she has breast cancer and emphysema, which she refuses to treat, because she has bizarre phobias about medicine and the medical establishment. She can't take care of herself properly and my parents do a lot for her, but she really should be in a home. I'm upset with my father for uncle for not having the balls to stand up to her and put her in a place where she can be taken care of properly. When I got there she was in bed and a burner was left on high on her stove! I have no idea how long it had been on and it scares the hell out of me.

Here is how I'd like to remember her, not the way she is now. I remember a strong farmer woman, living on a farm in Idaho. She grew the best vegetables and worked as hard as anyone I know. Yet she loved her life.

I want to remember her whistling and shouting and shooting cap guns at the birds in the fruit trees. I always wanted to be able to wolf whistle like her, but never could. She reminded me of a wild woman when she got into it with the birds and it was so cool! She always had an ongoing war with them and I'll never forget the way she decorated her fruit trees with tin pie plates and aluminum foil, because she believed the shiny items scared the birds away. Her trees always looked like some sort of bizarre, outsider art Christmas display.

I want to remember the huge feasts she'd prepare for us and the meals the extended family would eat around the huge pine table. My favorite dish was her "new peas and potatoes" in a creamy sauce.

I want to remember the dramatic Bible stories she'd tell us at bedtime--my favorites being "Shadrach, Meshach and Ebednego in the Fiery Furnace" and "Daniel in the Lion's Den." I'll never forget helping her "sound the trumpets" in the former when the evil king called everyone to bow down to his idol.

I want to remember sitting next to her in church and going through her purse to find little treasures like Certs mints.

I want to remember helping her hang clothes on the clothes line and the wonderful way they smelled when we took them down.

I want to remember playing in the nasty canal water when she irrigated her lawn. Always we kids' favorite time. Every day we'd ask, is it irrigation day yet? I want to remember the homemade "slip 'n' slides" she'd make for us using garbage bags and a garden hose.

I want to remember the ridiculous Barbie clothes she'd make for us. Although, we thought they were so beautiful.

I want to remember the family birthday party she organized for us every year. Because we lived so far apart, we all only got together once a year in the summer. So she'd organize a birthday party that was for every member of the family, since we couldn't celebrate the individual ones together. She'd bake a big cake and buy goofy little presents for everyone--my favorite one was the Japanese fan. We girls thought we were so elegant with them.

I love you, Grandma, and I promise to remember the good times over the sad.

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