Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Goodbye Grandma

We said goodbye to Grandma Clinesmith yesterday. I'm grateful she's not suffering any more. She's seemed frail these past several years, compared to how we knew her before, but I don't think any of that prepared me to see her the way she was the last few days. I came down to see her a couple of weeks ago, and she was able to sit up in her wheel chair and visit with us. For 90 years old, she had a very sharp mind still! Once the cancer really started to take over though, she got weak fast. I got there Saturday, and she was no longer able to really move or talk at all, and she wasn't very responsive at all. They gave her medicine for the pain (although you could tell she was still in a lot of pain) , but I sat with her a lot, especially on Sunday, and as I watched her closely, I learned to tell when she was sleeping and when she was somewhat awake, so I'd talk to her then. We had a few sweet moments though.. she really couldn't move or talk at all .. but at one point, I leaned down to talk closer to her so she could hear me.. and she lifted her head slightly and kissed my face several times. (Lifting her head at all was a big thing at that point. ) Then, (she was laying on her side) she gave me a sideways glance and raised her eyebrows as if to say "What can I say? These things just happen." She would squeeze our hands too.. I felt like she was aware of us being there, knew who we were and could hear us. There was another time, when I was telling her how much we loved her, that she started to struggle a little, like she was really trying to clear her voice to speak, and she seemed frustrated that she couldn't, so I told her, "It's okay.. we know you love us too." Then she seemed to relax and gave me her faint smile. We also got a sweet smile from her when she heard Ansel's voice. Anyway, there were a few little things like that, few and far between, where we knew she was still aware. Mom sat with her a lot that last day, and said at one point you KNEW she saw someone she loved very much (I'm sure Grandpa wasn't too far off!) Mom said her eyes brightened and she just had this huge smile. I got there in the early afternoon, and we stayed for a few minutes and said some goodbyes (planning on being back soon though). Then I left to go pick Mom back up (she'd been there since 4:30 that morning! She went to take a little break (the nurses didn't really think she'd make it through the day, but some said they've seen people hang on like this for several days or more.. so we did take a break.) When Mom got back though, she had already passed. (Mom actually found her and had to go tell the nurses.. she did have really great nurses who took good care of her though). We felt a little bad we hadn't been there as she left, but on Sunday I'd had a strong feeling it would be that way. A thought came that she would want to be near us while we were there, but that she would slip away when we left.

Here's just a few more pictures of her.. one of her wedding even! The first one is one of my favorites of her and Ansel. This was the first time she got to see and hold him.. since it was so long before we could take him places. I still remember her lighting up when we walked in the door with him! I also thought it was cute how whenever he'd see her with her walker, he run over and grab a hold of it, and walk with her! (we had to watch him though.. sometimes he'd start going a little fast!) Grandma loved her grandkids, but boy was she proud of her great grandchildren!! One of the nurses saw Ansel and knew him by name because she'd show off pictures of all her family!
The one of her and Roya makes me tear up.. Roya drove a ways to come visit her.. and they both knew it would be their last time here to say goodbye. This was just a few weeks ago.
There's also one of Grandma with her sister, Vera, who actually just past away one month ago from the same thing. (Exactly one month and one day.. They were both too weak to go see each other, but going through the same things at the same times.. I think Grandma was also ready to go see her again!) I know she longed to see Grandpa again.. (he passed away on my 12th birthday... so that's been quite a few years ago!)

Sorry for another long, and kind of sad post.. I have other posts I've been meaning to get on.. (just had a few distractions lately!) So I'll liven up the mood soon!! I have some 4th of July stuff to add now too! I just wanted to first take a minute to pay a little tribute to my Grandma, Myrtle Mae Clinesmith. I'm so grateful for her example and all she's done for us. I've gotten A LOT of family history stuff (pictures, pedigree charts, documents, etc,) from her.. She really kept up with things like that. It will be neat for us to go to the temple for her in a year! I'm sure she has a lot of ancestors who are very grateful for all she's done! We're going to drive to Kansas Saturday to have a little memorial/ graveside service there. (That's where Grandpa's buried and where she spent most of her life)


Michelle Church said...

I'm sorry for your loss Kerri, but that is good she doesn't have to suffer anymore and is with her husband now!! I feel bad that you're having to go through these hard times and I hope you find the comfort you need.

Roya said...

Thanks, Kerri.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Kerri. Love you, Mom