Monday, February 11, 2013

She was a Grand Mother

This is one of those posts, where I don't know where to start and where this will end. I guess we could call it a "clear-your-printer-queue" post.

As I just posted, my 93 year old grandmother passed away this morning, in Finland. For 2 years, she had been in something in the US would be between a nursing home & a hospital. I saw her in August 2012 when Little One and I visited. She was just a shadow of her old self, that I had previously seen in December of 2009. She was living by herself, still very strong, physically and mentally. Sharp, funny and her inner child was still wild at play, even at 91. I remember her telling me how she was only on 1 medication at the time. She was justifiably proud. I don't even remember what that medication was for, but I believe it was something minor. Then sometime 2010 her health started declining and she fell down in her apartment, and couldn't get up. She waited for a day, or two, on the floor - until her daughter came to visit, after not being able to get in touch with her via phone. That was the day they both agreed it was time to look into other living arrangements. Soon after that she was placed into this nursing home/hospital. She had been independent for such a long time, that she never got used to it. She fought about everything and all she wanted to do was stay in her bed and not have to deal with "the people". She thought she didn't belong there, and in some way felt her intellect was above the norm there. Her physical health and mental ability declined quickly after... in the end, and for some time, she was ready. She slept away peacefully.

I have so much respect for my Gramma. She survived the World Wars and 2 husbands. Her 1st husband, my biological grandfather, passed away when my dad was 5. She became a widow and a single mother in the 1950's. She got married for the 2nd time and had 2 more children. The new step-father, however, dedicated his life to messing up my dad and preventing him from ever achieving his dreams. My dad, being the son of my grandmother, did it anyway, his own way. I know my grandma was so proud of him, even though I'm sure there were some unexpressed feelings of resentment from my dad. As in, why did my mother allow this to happen? This leads me to the thought, that I believe my grandmother was making up for what she allowed to happen to my dad and I can honestly say, she did make up for it, in the new generation. How lucky am I, to have been raised by such an amazing Gramma? Well my mother & father raised me, but my Gramma's goodness lives in me, majority of the good I am, I thank my grandmother for that.

The funeral has been set for March 2. They pushed it as far as they could, so the out-of-the-country family members could make arrangements. There are some questions about what really caused her death, so they may do an autopsy just to be certain. 

I hope to be able to stay in Finland for at least a week. There are many unanswered questions regarding my family tree, and lots of information is now unavailable because my gramma passed away & I never got to ask the questions I needed answers for. I don't know why I didn't give this much thought before, but my biological grandfather had 3 sons from his previous marriage. Basically what that means is that I don't know my fathers side of the family at all. My father has half siblings somewhere. I want to dig into it and get more information about them. So I've got to make some arrangements and put on my research cap... I'm happy to see my family, as I've had a rough past few months. I'm at peace with my Gramma's passing, as I know she's at peace as well. ♥ 

Little One, me & my Gramma, August 8 2012

My Grandma, my best friend 1919-2013

To my 93 year old grandma, who slept away today.

Thank you for teaching me how to knit, sew and crochet.
Thank you for teaching me how to play card games and shuffle the cards.
Thank you for teaching me how to cook and bake.
Thank you for teaching me how to take care of a garden.
Thank you for teaching me where milk and eggs come from.
Thank you for allowing me to eat raw potatoes and turnips.
Thank you for allowing me to explore freely on your farm & lands.
Thank you for going on adventures with me.
Thank you for making me strong, outhouse and newspaper -strong.
Thank you for teaching me how to be a lady, but a tough one.
Thank you for having a vegetable and fruit garden, without it I wouldn't know what real strawberries and peas taste like.
Thank you for being patient with me.
Thank you for being my best friend.
Thank you for trusting me.
Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for being kind to me.
Thank you for respecting me.
Thank you for letting me be a child, yet making me feel like a grown up that I wanted to be.
Thank you for the non-material gifts you gave me, your wisdom & most importantly -

Thank you for the Time that you gave me. You live in me, through me, even though your physical body gave up today. I will continue teaching Little One everything you ever taught me. I've been truly blessed to have had a grandmother like you. I hope to be like you one day. Thank you for being my second mother, Mummo ♥

Forever in my heart, Sari

~ It's one of nature's way that we often feel closer to distant generations than to the generation immediately preceding us.  ~ Igor Stravinsky

~ A grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend.  ~ Author Unknown