Monday, December 26, 2011
God's Newest Angel
RIP M. Jean Dilly McIntire April 1922- Christmas Day 2011.
We always called her Granny; she hosted Christmas parties at her house and also celebrated my birthday the same day. Beginning in 1985 or 6, we also spent 4th of July celebrations with her and Grandpa, as it was also his birthday.
I have happy memories of her reading books to me; she had my dad and aunt's children's books in her back room and would head for the bookshelf as soon as I could. When I learned to read them myself, I still asked her to read a few to me, but could always be found curled up somewhere in the house with a stack of them.
One year, my cousin and I coaxed her up to the attic so we could dress up in my aunt's old prom dresses. Mom has a wonderful picture of us and my younger sister all decked out in satin and sequins.
When my oldest K was born, she was thrilled; he was the first male child born into the family since my dad. The two formed a special bond when he was five; Granny often went on vacations with us and since both were early risers, they went to breakfast together. On our Colorado trip in 2002, he tried to block his younger sister from joining them one day.
"This is me and Grandma's special time. No, you can't come!"
I reminded him S didn't often get up early and that once wasn't going to ruin his and Grandma's breakfast. So he took her along, and sure enough, she slept late the remaining mornings!
The year prior, we'd taken the Amtrak from Seattle to Vancouver, so we ALL had breakfast with Granny! But K sat beside her.
Granny was a rare woman; one of my aunts was born with a rare birth defect, and instead of having her institutionalized, she kept her at home and drove her daily to the Noble Center, always calling it 'her work'. She also took care of my grandfather, who suffered his first heart attack at age 36 and had to retire early. Granny worked as a lunch lady in my cousin's school cafeteria, and I used to be jealous of the fact she saw Grandma every day. I only saw her a few times a year, but I think it made my sister and I appreciate her more. And it always amazed me when I'd go to church with her that everyone knew who I was, even if I was only with my cousin.
Granny attended my high school and college graduations; she was there for my wedding and even came to a few of our fall parties when we lived in Martinsville. Right after we moved to our current home, Granny moved into an assisted living facility, and I inherited more of her book collection. (I've tried to locate my post 'Treasures in Grandma's Attic' but can't seem to find it! I'll keep looking later...)
Anyway, earlier this month, Granny fell and cracked her pelvis. She'd insisted her furniture be rearranged for her Christmas tree, and apparently had gotten up in the night and tripped over something. She was doing well until she was moved to a rehab unit last week, and when Dad went down to check on her, he discovered her sitting in a wheelchair; barely conscious, and demanded answers.
Turned out a) she'd had a piece of pineapple stuck in her mouth; b) she wasn't receiving her breathing treatments; and c) they tried to give her 8 hours of physical therapy! She'd developed pneumonia and my dad wanted her taken back to the hospital. But after speaking with my aunt and a couple of the better nurses, Dad felt okay leaving her there.
Apparently, Grandma's been talking about 'being tired and ready to go Home', though the rest of the family hoped she'd recover and enjoy her 90th birthday party we were thinking of throwing her.
But yesterday, God called her home. At least she got to spend Christmas in heaven with Grandpa, who passed in 1995 and Aunt Julie, who died in 1993, coincidentally, two days before MY birthday.
And as my spouse says, we did have an answered prayer: She's well again; she's with family members who have been gone the last 10-20 years; and best of all, she celebrated Jesus' birthday with him.
Merry Christmas Granny:) We love and miss you.