My grandmother, Doris Jean Dreyer, passed away yesterday morning in her sleep. Although she was 80 and in failing health, it was still a shock.
I’ll be away from the world of blogging for a few days while I make the trip home and grieve with my family.
I know it hasn’t truly hit me yet. Even though I cried for a long time after my Dad called me yesterday, I know there are many more tears to be shed.
Grandma was a good woman. A strong woman. Hopefully I inherited more from her than my wide hips and short legs. Hopefully a little bit of her strength is residing somewhere within me and helps me get through the next few days, the next few weeks, the next few years without her. It better show up soon. Because right now I’m not feeling strong.
She lost so many people in her life, and yet she didn’t wallow in it. If anything, it made her love her remaining family even more. She outlived both of her parents. Two brothers. A sister. Her husband, my grandfather died in 1996. Her daughter-in-law, my mother, died in 2001. And just 10 weeks ago, she buried her oldest child, my aunt.
She battled so much in her life from a medical standpoint. Diabetes, arthritis, glaucoma, congestive heart failure, cancer. She fought them all. Some she was able to fend off at points, some she lived with every day. As she got older, she complained more and more about her ailments. God, please forgive my mother and I for mocking her with “My this hurts and my thathurts.” We thought we were being funny at the time, but now I just can’t see the humor in it. She lived with pain the entire time that I have been on this earth, and longer. And yet she never failed to make my brother and I hot dogs and beans when we stayed at her house. Or cut up extra carrots and celery for me because she knew that I would devour the whole tray myself when she set it out on the table for dinner. And even this past Christmas, she had a supply of wintergreen Canada mints on hand for me to take home. She always sat with me while I paged through the JC Penney catalog around Christmas time, and listened to me tell her which toys I wanted Santa to bring me. She never failed to tell me how proud she was of me, whether it was for a good report card, going to college, getting married, buying a house.
I’m thankful that she passed in her sleep. Hopefully without pain. Quietly. Calmly. Peacefully. I’m thankful that she was able to keep living in the house she had shared with my grandfather after his death 12 years ago. That meant a lot to her–to be HOME.
Goodbye, Grandma. We’ll miss you.