Tuesday, February 5, 2008

she's lovely

My grandma... how to even describe...

She's lovely.

At 80 years old she still bakes her own bread from scratch in her antique mixing bowl. Her house always smells of yeast and white linen. I love her so much. She has always been the one I go to for really good solid advice. She has been through so much in her life that I have and her advice has always been right. Her husband, my grandpa, was an adulterer through their whole marriage and she stuck by him through his heart attacks, MS, Alzheimer's disease, etc. She gave birth to 4 children, one of whom passed away shortly after birth. She struggled with money, working as many as three jobs at a time to keep their family afloat, while my grandpa slowly became more and more crippled and eventually retired to his La-Z-Boy and Nintendo Golf. She fought and survived ovarian cancer. And through it all kept a positive and wonderful attitude. Never jaded, never bitter. Always faithful to her God.

She loves to knit even through severe arthritis, a fantastic cook, an avid reader and gardener. She has always had the most beautiful gardens, giant peonies, green beans that we used to sneak and pick through the long hot summer days... among other veggies and flowers. She has always gone to church on Sundays, come blizzards and high waters... literally. She goes to bible study. She's kind, compassionate, and extremely understanding. She has the best sense of humor, never cries over a broken dish or a kool-aid stain. I know that first hand. Loves animals. She's humble and intelligent. She's the backbone of our family. Literally the glue that holds us all together.

In a word... amazing. Truly.

Not that anyone deserves cancer, but of all people... why her? Maybe because she's strong as an ox and can fight off anything. But damn it. I miss her. I want to be 6 again, sitting at her dining room table drinking tea and eating "sandreeches" as she calls them in her extremely northern accent.

This is how amazing she is... upon hearing the news... she says to her doctor "Well, let's get on with it then because spring is coming and I have a lot of yard work to do."

After everything that has happened this year, I just can't believe it. Breast cancer? My grandma? My rock. My heroine. My second mother. I'm in total shock. I haven't wrapped my mind around this yet. I just can't wrap my mind around this year. I lost my best friend over $100. My car has been destroyed and needs repair. My credit is in the same situation. My boyfriend is going to Iraq. My job is burning me out making me work 60 hours a week with no end in sight. I'm just exhausted. And with this breaking news, I feel like I'm losing everything that is important to me.

As Teresa says, I have become a turtle. Retreating into my shell and making no promises to come out. Unfortunately for turtles, the only way they can move forward is to stick their neck out. I'm trying to stay strong for my family, especially for my grandma. It's what she wants. She wants us to be positive and I know she needs that right now. So that's what I'll do. Crying is not going to help her. So I'll refrain from that as much as possible. Tomorrow is the oncologist appointment where we find out what kind and how bad and all the dirty details. Next Wednesday she has her appointment with the surgeon.

Please pray for her strength, for the doctor's wisdom, and for our family.

Funny how life has a way of making you stronger when you're not up to it. You think you can't take anymore and then....

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