Friday, January 22, 2010

My Grandma...

"Like sands through the hourglass so are the Days of our Lives..."

This tag line is from the intro of the long-time running Soap opera, "Days of Our Lives".  I guess you could say it's also part of the "soundtrack of my childhood" as it is something I certainly heard often.  Days of our Lives was my Grandma's favorite show.  We called it her "Soapy," because from the day it first aired  in 1965.... until only a year or so ago, when she became really sick - no matter where she was [geographically] - I cannot remember a single day she did not  faithfully  tuned in and  watch.

Over the course of the last several years, my grandma has battled cancer. The first battle was in her lung, and after some treatment as well as surgery to remove part of the lung... the battle was won, and she was able to actually live cancer-free for a few years. Then, last March we were given the grim news that they once again found cancer in her system. And though this wasn't a recurrence of the previous cancer - but another instance - it had already spread into her lung cavity, her liver, and her spine... she was given six-months to live.  Starting in Sept, we began to notice a slight decline. By November the pain had increased, she was at a 6 on her oxygen tank, and they called in Hospice.  Her descent became a little more rapid and the end more evident.  As long as the kept ontop of  things, the pain seemed fairly manageable with meds... but of course she still had her really bad days. We knew the news was coming, sometime soon - it was just a matter of when.  I gratefully got to go to St Louis while I was in KY for the holidays.... where I was able to see her one last time & say my goodbyes.  I don't think I have ever had to say goodbye to anyone this close to me before.- It was one of the hardest things I have ever  had to do.

We prayed she could at least make it through her birthday. - It was to be her 84th, though she insisted it was her 85th, and we didn't argue.  She did make it... as well as through Christmas a few days later - Mom and the girls spent the holiday in St Louis (at the nursing home) with her  Meanwhile we waited.

Then this past week, the inevitable happened....  she quit eating, had trouble swallowing, was sleeping a lot, was on an oxygen level of 10, and in pain.  After frequent calls to St Louis over the last few days, Marmee decided it was time to make her way to St.Louis.  When I talked to mom yesterday, during her drive.... we sadly speculated this was the most likely end.

Then, early this morning, I got *the call*...  at 6:15 am (cst), my grandma finished her life's journey.  The battle was finally through.... and peacefully, in her sleep -with no struggle or pain - she took her final breaths, and then was gone. Marmee never did get to speak with her again,. By the time she reached St.Louis, Grandma was already resting peacefully for the night... never to wake again.  But she and my Aunt Peggy stayed with her the whole night... holding her hand, and telling her how much we all loved her and would miss her.  The nurses said she wouldn't make it through the night... but being my grandma to the end... proved them all wrong, and waited until the dawn of morning. before she let her hourglass finally drop its final grains of sand - finishing out her beautiful life,  the sands of her time.

So even though she is gone now - missed so very much - this familiar intro will always remind me of my dear grandma... and the days of her life....

Gertrude "Trudy" Ann Blase
(née Mangold, Jennemann)

Born: December 23, 1925 - St Louis, MO
Died: January 22, 2010 - St. Louis, MO

Survived by:  her baby-sister, Joan; 6 children (3 sons & 3 daughters);
11 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren

She was preceded in death by: William H Jennemann; Donald E. Blase;
and her grandson, Brian Jennemann

Goodbye my dear Grandma....  I miss you already, and will love you forever!! ♥

(Edit to add a link to Marmee's beautiful post...)

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I really am sorry for your loss, Tiph. It's so hard to lose a loved one, even when you know where they are. We still miss Granddaddy so much! We're praying for you guys!