. . . I heard my phone ring at 8:30 and decided to ignore it because I was comfortable in bed and didn’t want to wake up. It rang again 1/2 hour later, so I figured whoever it was, it must be somewhat important. It was Mom. I knew something had to be up, because she doesn’t call in that sort of frequency. I was afraid something had happened to my Grandmother Fortney, her mom.
I missed her second call, but called her back.
That’s when she told me. Buh, my father’s mother, had died in the night. She had fallen in her room and was halfway under the bed. My (worthless) uncle called my Dad to find out what to do. Dad told him to call 911 and that he was on his way down. The ambulance came and they rushed her to the hospital where they worked on her until 1:30 or so in the morning, when they declared her dead. Sometime during the time she was on the floor or in the ambulance she suffered a heart attack.
That’s what they said she died of.
It came as a total shock to all of us. I figured Buh was going to live to be at least 100. She was the oldest of 5, by far the most healthy and the most spunky. This is the woman who, while I was in high school, broke her ankle and was still up and around trying to move on it. I went down for a weekend to take care of her and repeatedly threatened to sit on her if she didn’t sit still!
That was the type of relationship we had. I was her granddaughter, but we were both very blunt with each other. She was blunt with me in a way that she wasn’t with anyone else. She was MY grandma. I was also the only granddaughter and, in the month or so before she died, filled the roll that a daughter would have filled. My mom was busy taking care of her parents, as her Mom is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.
After I got off the phone with Mom (I argued with her about Buh dying. I couldn’t believe it!) I knew I had a couple phone calls to make. One was to Buh’s hairdresser. I had called to make an appointment to get her hair done. She had let it get out of control recently and it was in desperate shape. I also had to call a friend of mine who I was supposed to go out with that day and tell her I was goinng to be running late.
Mom pushed me to keep my “date” with her as there really wasn’t anything I could have done. I sat on the edge of my bed and cried. My Italian sat next to me, just holding me and letting me cry.
I barely pulled myself together to cancel her hair appointment and called Julie to let her know what was going on and that I would be late.
The rest of that weekend is a slight blurr. Going back to work on Monday was a nightmare. I couldn’t focus, and all I really wanted to do was hide under my desk and cry. I arranged to have that Thursday and Friday off since Buh’s funeral was on Thursday. (That was probably the fastest time-off approval I’d ever gotten.)
Buh’s memorial service was beautiful. She would have LOVED the reception afterwards. It was strange to be having a party without her there. The women of her church set up the reception and served all of the food.
Her memorial service was just the first of many parties and get togethers we had that her presence was acutely missed. Thanksgiving came and it felt so very very different. I tried to make and bring the foods she usually brought, but it just wasn’t the same. Her comments and conversation left a giant hole (I felt) in the atmosphere.
Christmas came and while the pain had eased some, she was still sorely missed. As time has gone on, the pain of her not being with us anymore has eased, but her missing presence is still felt at all of the family gatherings.
ArmySIS-IL’s bridal shower is where it was very acute. Her grandmother reminded me of a toned down Buh and they would have gotten along fantastically! At ArmyBro’s wedding, I missed her too. I would have loved to have heard her commentary on the goings on. She always had something to say.
It’s been a year. I thank God for the time I had with her and that she got to see me get married and see her family the way it will be.