I know she can hear me…
Her eyes closed, pressed into drug induced coma. The air from the oxygen clashing with the rattling rasp coming from her throat. The death rattle. I recognize it.
So much I want to say but as I go to speak my words catch and my eyes well and the words cannot tumble out without the crashing of tears inhibiting my sentiments.
So I stay silent.
She taught me to be a woman. A good woman.
A good wife, calming and agreeable. No matter what grandpa says, even if it is terribly obvious that she knows that bit of information, she looks grateful and sweet and nods. Everything he says is fascinating. Ever caring, every meal made with love, every thing taken care of for him. The looks they share. A love affair of seventy-something years. To be a wife like that.
A good mother, adoring and loving. Her children make up the fiber of her essence and she would have done-or did do- anything to help them. Across the miles or next door, her love for them never failed.
A good grandmother, ever supportive and beloved. Beloved. Cookies in the cookie jar and hot coffee at the ready. Even if we were six years old. Always there for us. Always cheering us on. Like we were the most important people in the world. Grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great grandmother. She has lived a life of loving. I think she waited until my second granddaughter, Ayla Mae, was born a few months ago, on their 70th wedding anniversary.
Every piece in me she filled, that of mother, grandmother, friend.
There was room in her house for anyone who needed a place to stay. Always ready with a handout or a smile. Her generosity extended endlessly.
She taught me to sew, to crochet, to cook eggs. Every Tuesday for years as an adult I would pick her up and we would go to IHOP or a new restaurant (usually IHOP though, she loved the pancakes) and then shopping. We talked about anything and everything.
She grew up on a farm. She married a dashing cowboy at the age of sixteen. Grandpa. She was a waitress for many years because, in her words, she had nice legs. Oh my goodness, I will miss that woman.
I know she can hear me.
Nancy Mae Horner
May 26, 1932-February 18, 2009