Sunday, May 31, 2009

Old journal post - 1/10/06

Phone calls at 7am

One of my "things" is that I don't like people to call me really early or really late. Not that I don't want to talk to you, it's my reserved "emergency call" time. No one calls with good news at 7 am. Today was no exception.
I heard the phone ring, and had no doubt who it was or what it was about. I was more upset that I had left my phone downstairs because the last thing I wanted to do was put my mother through more than she had to go through. I knew when the time came, she would want to just make the calls and be done. Normally I would be a little upset to get bad news via voice mail, but I can't really blame her. My grandmother passed away at 1:30 this morning.

It's so hard to describe how I feel. When my other grandmother died it was such a shock to me and I cried so hard that I inhaled my own hair and choked. The only time I've cried today is after finding out I had Olivia's appointment wrong and while reading my sister's blog. I really had let go of my grandmother years ago. We weren't allowed to see her for years. And this past spring when I finally did see her, I think that was when she was finally gone to me. She didn't look like my grandma, she didn't act like my grandma. She was just a very old, frail, confused lady. My grandma was always young for her age, strong, and sharp as a tack. I cried very hard after seeing her, and I think that is why I am not crying now. The little bit I have cried has been for my mother and grandfather.

When I called my mother back, I expected her to sound more upset. But she mentioned that with her being on Prozac, she's unable to break down. She wants to, she starts to, it never comes. She said it's OK though because she wanted to be strong for my grandpa.

I feel the worst for him. They were married over 50 years, almost 60 I believe. He had never lived alone before putting my grandma in a nursing home. He put up with all the difficult years, and probably would have kept her at home until the end if my mom hadn't convinced him to put her in a nursing home. I just can't imagine someone being with you almost every day of your life and then they're gone.

There isn't going to be a funeral. I know that's hard for a lot of people to understand. I didn't talk to my mom, again she got my voice mail, but I think I know why. For one, my grandparents were nto religious people. A religious ceremony would be the last thing she wanted. Plus, there would be 7 people. Anyone else would just be there for one of us, they wouldn't know her. Bill has never met her. I don't think Crystal's boyfriend ever met her. I doubt Trey would be taken out of school for it. Just my parents, my grandpa, my sisters and I, and my great aunt. She has no other family, she shunned any friends long ago when the Altzheimers began... that's all there is. It does feel strange that there won't be one. It's a final closure that won't be there. But most of us let go a while ago, and the two who were the closest to her decided a funeral wasn't necessary.

My grandmother, Mary Louise Landrum Follette, was around 85 years old. She was a nurse. She was 28 when she married my grandpa. She had one child, my mother. She was either 1/4 or 1/8 Cherokee and loved Native American jewelry. She was strict on us, almost a little scary to us, but we never doubted that she loved us. There are some strange parallels in my life and hers, and I think she noticed it and was proud of it. We were about the same age when we got married, about the same age when we had a baby. She was a strong, independent woman. I was told that the year I was born she was raped and had a nervous breakdown and that I never really knew my grandmother the way my mother did. Maybe someday I can see her again, young and happy, and get to know who she really was.

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