Thursday, January 1, 2009

I'm Not 70 Anymore...Those Were The Days!

Well, we're gearing up for my grandmother's 90th birthday and I'm excited to be able to celebrate that occasion with her and alongside my family. So tonight, I was on the phone with my mom for a long time talking about our crazy wacked out dreams and what they could possibly mean. She has this dream that she finds out that her dad is alive and in the hospital (he actually died when when she was 8) and she's just now realizing that she missed all this time with him. And she's angry and upset that most of her life has been spent without him. So I think that this is maybe a suppressed fear she's having because she was so young when he died. She really wasn't able to comprehend or experience the anger or depression that you would typically experience when you loose a loved one because she, in her words, "was too busy trying to make everyone else happy". To hear my mom talk about what she was feeling and going through, it just breaks my heart. It's just unimaginable.

So in talking about what she went through loosing her dad, I also found out that when he died, my grandma was out of town because her mother had just died the day before! So there she is dealing with the loss of her mother and the very next day, she learns of her husband's sudden death. So she has to leave and was not able to attend her mother's funeral because she had to come back and deal with the loss of her husband. I can't even imagine going through something like that. It's almost like a movie script. Unbelievable.

While thinking about this, my mom started to mention all her mother had been through before that. She and my grandpa Jack were high school sweet hearts and he left to go to Howard Payne University two years before she graduated. In the mean time her family had to move to Lampass from Bradshaw. She lived 12 miles out from school so she and her brother drove the only car into town. When her brother Carolton made the football team, he had to stay late for practice so she got a job as a waitress in a cafe after school. Then she and her brother moved out of their parents house. Her mother helped take care of an old lady so that she and Carlton could have room and board at her house.

Grandpa Jack had not written her in about two years. During this time, my grandmother met a man while she was a waitress. One day, a friend of grandpa Jack's came by and asked if she was dating and she told him she was. He told her not to do anything stupid because he knew that Jack still loved her. He finally wrote her himself and told her the same thing. He had also told her when they were dating that he would NEVER marry a divorced woman. She wrote back and told him she was very lonely because all her friends had moved on or were married and so she married this new guy. My aunt SueAnn was born a year after they married and then he left them.

When Jack came home from Howard Payne, my great-grandmother was asking him when he was going to settle down since he was 28 and he told her the only girl he ever cared about was my grandmother. She told him that she knew where she was working and drove Jack over to see her. My grandmother said that when she saw him after 7 years her heart stopped. she had always hoped he would come back into her life but she knew that he said he'd never marry someone who had been married before. That day he asked her to marry him! After they were married, they had daughter, then a son and then their surprise - my mom when my grandmother was 40 years old!

It's so interesting and amazing to hear your family stories and the things that could have been if just one thing had been done differently. If her first husband hadn't left her, I wouldn't be here. If my grandpa hadn't wanted to be an instant dad, I wouldn't be here. It's also amazing to think of a woman who has been through so much and seen so much in her lifetime and is still an extremely active citizen of her town. She still goes to church. She is a active part of the senior adult choir. She drives her friends (who are much younger than her and scared of loop 289) to the Lubbock airport. She works in her yard, which is one of the best kept yards on the block in my opinion. She plays cards with her friends every Thursday. It's pretty incredible given she's turning 90 soon. What an incredible journey to not only live through the heartache and trials she's experienced but to persevere. To keep on living, no matter how hard it may be. To remember that Jesus is Lord; that he will protect and comfort us no matter what this life may bring. What an amazing testimony of God's grace and faithfulness.