We all have people that have impacted our lives, made a real difference in them. I suppose we all encounter someone every day that makes a difference in our lives, or at the very least our day.
I grew up in a little town, maybe 1000 people. As my mom always said, "People around here know ya fart before you do it". Maybe not the most eloquent thing my mother ever said, but the truth all the same.
We lived in a house in this small town and right next door lived my great-grandmother. She was really the only grand-mother I ever knew. My dad's mom had Multiple Scleoris and was an invalid as long as I can remember. In fact, she lived at our house for several years and we took care of her. I remember how pissed off I was as a 13-14 year old kid having to feed my grandmother baby food, and help move her bowels, or lift her up and change her with the hydralic lift. I still feel extreme guilt to this day because of those feelings I had. Oh I know it's normal, I also am sure that my parents felt a little burdened. It's human nature. When she was in the nursing home I remember getting off the school bus at the Elementary School and walking across the street to the nursing home to put lotion on her hands and feet, or to paint her nails, or to start one of her tapes of Christian music. She couldn't speak because of the M.S but she could sing, "I'll Fly Away". That song still means a lot to me. Maybe I wasn't a horrible grandchild to her, but I'm also quite sure I'll live with that guilt forever.
My grand-daddy (Dad's dad) was an amazing man. I don't think there's anyone who didn't love him. He would work, go feed Grandmaw at the nursing home on his lunch, go to my great-grandmothers and eat lunch quickly with her, go back to work and do the same thing again at supper. He'd stay at the nursing home with Grandmaw till time to go to bed. He did this over and over and over again for many many years. He would call the house and pretend to disguise his voice, funny thing is my dad does the same thing. He'd pretend to not know who you were etc. He offered me 10.00 to let him pull my tooth one time. I DID NOT take him up on that offer!! Imagine how much 10.00 was in the 70's! LOL He was the first person I ever lost that I truly loved. I was 11 and I can still feel that pain. What a great great man he was. I still miss him.
But my great-grandmother.. wow. She was the reason I did many things, wanted things.. I remember there used to be a little ceramics store downtown and I'd go in there and buy these useless trinkets and take one to grandmaw and she'd be so thrilled. She put them on the counter in her house, proudly displayed for all to see. My little brother, Matt, got a ring out of a gumball machine and had to give it to Grandmaw. I'm pretty sure she died with that ring on. She wore it for years and years. She's the reason I wanted to get my drivers license. She didn't drive and we would walk to the grocery or post office. I wanted to be able to take her. I think one of my proudest moments of my life is driving her to the little post office. The woman could cook. Oh my, what I wouldn't give to have her cook me another meal.. at the very least her potato salad. I was pregnant with Brenna when she died and she died right around my 23rd birthday. She moved to Florida with her kids when I was 18 but we wrote each other all the time. She had grandchild named Lesa, so the funny thing is in all these letters I have they're addressed to "Lesa" , not Lisa lol I don't care that she never spelt my name right. I had her everyday of my life till she moved to Florida. Every single day. And you know what? I miss her. Every single day. Every day. My brother has a daughter named after her. Hallie. She's spunky like Grandmaw too. I can still smell her.. the kind of lotion or perfume that she used, hear her laughter, and when she was really really mad she'd say "Shhht" she never cursed. That was as close as it came for her, but it made me laugh then and it makes me laugh now. It makes me so incredibly sad that my kids didn't know her. She met Ashton when Ashton was 2. I have pictures of her being held by Grandmaw, but it's just not the same. I wish they could know her love. She offered the greatest love to all she knew. She was 92 when she died, but it doesn't matter... I wanted her to live to be 192. She was 88 when she moved to Florida. I miss those 4 years too. I'm glad her kids got those four years, but I'm just selfish enough to be jealous that they got them. I certainly don't mean that as cruel as it sounds. Just the truth. She is a huge part of the who I was, who I am, and who I want to be. Man, I miss her.
I recently watched an epiosde of John Edwards Cross Country.. in the episode John says, "We never get over losing them, we just get through it". She's been gone since 93, I guess I'll always just "get through it". I hope she knew how much I loved her. I hope she still knows.