Monday, January 24, 2011


MoonImage via WikipediaRecently I had the privilege of helping my grandmother, whom we call Ooma, as she had an extended stay in a residential facility while my parents were out of town. She usually lives with my parents in her own little apartment off of their house. However, while mom and dad were out of town, she decided she might like to try staying in a place where she could talk to other folks her age.

Every day she was there, she appeared to have as many, if not more, visitors than the Pope. There was a constant stream of family and friends visiting with her. And she, being the ultra-extravert that she is, delighted in every moment of her visits.

In the evenings I had the unique blessing of going to help her as she prepared for bed. At 95, she is exceptionally spry mentally. However, her osteoarthritis has given her lots of physical ailments that make her occasionally need some assistance. And even though the facility staffed people to help her, I was honored to be asked to go in to provide a familiar touch.

It is beyond amazing to imagine what she has seen and been through in the last 95 years. She has been through The Great Depression, World Wars, and too many presidents to count. And she remembers it all.

I think that is one of the things I marvel at the most. I can barely remember where I parked my car when I come out of the grocery store. She can remember making root beer with her five brothers and sisters when they were young, how she and my grandfather courted, the way my father was as a boy, and my childhood and adult years.

She is so very gracious about any little thing you do for her. I would sometimes put her toothpaste back in its holder for her since it was a bit hard for her to reach. She would thank me profusely, as though I had invented toothpaste and named it after her.

My whole family got to take part in our visits. And my brother's family did, too. We even got an "adopted" member of the family in on the fun!

She is now back home with mom and dad. I know she is much more comfortable, since there is no place quite like home. But part of me will miss spending those hours with her in the evenings, as the moon was high in the sky, listening to her tell me about her day. And then, on occasion, she would delve back into time and tell me the stories of her youth. And stories about my father as he was a boy.

I know I will see her frequently at her home with mom and dad. However, I will forever cherish that time I had with her. We talked about the way the world is, and how it was. She told me about growing up and growing old. She voiced sadness over bad times. But we also laughed- a lot. 

She is a very, very special lady. And I am so honored to call her my Ooma. And I feel blessed to have my children know her, too.

I love you, Ooma.

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