As mentioned in the last post, we spent a week with Grandma Ruthie, Rick’s mom. She is ninety years old and has been ready to die every day since we was 83 which is the age that both her parents died. The poor darling has been a widow for over 50 years. When the love of her life died with colon cancer he was thirty nine and she was thirty eight. They had five children from 3-15. The fifteen year old was Rick. It has been a long, hard haul for her, with lots of joy along the way but she has had enough!
Since she can’t remember any of us or even what happened one minute ago, she is sad every morning when she wakes up….again! Still she maintains her sweet nature and her cute sense of humor in her more lucid moments. She can finish the last word of any nursery rhyme and the names of her nine brothers and sisters simply rolls off her tongue on demand.
She has one foot in heaven and keeps asking who is standing there behind us when there is no one there. She also asks several times a day if she is still alive, but thanks to her conscientious habits of good health all her life, her body is doing just fine. It’s just her mind that is gone. She often sleeps 18-20 hours a day. Which is a huge blessing.
Still we had a good-for-us realization of exactly what she is going through. That in addition to cleaning and shopping for food and a few new things for her wardrobe of nightgowns and getting up with her several times in the night made it truly a 24/7 week! Rick’s brother Kevan who is there with most of the year will have been gone for six weeks when he returns (a well-deserved vacation) so it has been good for all of us family members to take turns caring for her full-time. It’s a great learning experience!
Saren and the kids came for a visit on Friday and we all went to the cemetery. We were worried that she would start crying when she realized where she was and that she was indeed, still alive, but she sat on her famous sister May Swenson’s (probably USU’s most famous graduate, one of about ten most famous poets in America) beautiful granite bench asking over and over where we were and why were we there.
She broke her hand a few weeks ago from a fall while wandering in the night and we wrapped her up with every coat we could find because she was freezing. “Enduring to the end” is not for the faint-hearted!
The kids loved hearing “ancestor stories” from their grandfather about Grandpa Dean and others buried nearby.
We’re praying that she can go ASAP! But it could be a while! Ah…old age! We love you Grandma Ruthie!