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Random memories about Mary Ella

March 9, 2010 1 comment

Probably the most influential person in my childhood was my Grandma. I remember my Uncle Tom, my mother’s youngest brother, getting me and my sister to call her Granny once and she got mad…at him. She said she wasn’t old enough to be a Granny. I never called her Granny again. Now she is 86 and very sick. Her doctor doesn’t believe she will make it through the night tonight. This news is both expected and very sudden.

My Grandma is a holy woman. I have never met anyone more godly than she is. I remember her singing The Old Rugged Cross in church. I know she has a passion for her children and grandchildren. There are, after all, over 100 of us, including great and great-great grandchildren. She called me SamTomBill more often than I can count. (Sam is my mom’s other younger brother.) Her favorite game to play with us was Uno when we were younger. As we got older, it became dominoes and Skip-Bo. As I became an adult, I enjoyed playing Moon with her as my partner. It was also fun playing against her. I almost always lost when she partnered with my wife. I think they knew my weaknesses too well.

I spoke to her tonight. She is on a BIPAP machine so she couldn’t talk clearly, but I understood her well enough to know she said, “I love you.” If those are the last words I hear from her on this Earth, it will be the same words I have heard from her every time I saw her, in her every action, in her every prayer,in her every glance, in every time she spanked me or wiped my nose. I will be very happy to be SamTomBill for the rest of my life every time I think about her.

There is no possible way she could know how much we all love her. Except that she does. I know that she does. She has left an indelible imprint on the lives of each of her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.

It has been a privilege to know you and to love you, Mary Ella. I don’t deserve your love, but you made me worthy. Thank you for showing your faith to me and teaching me how to be a better man.

Until we meet again.

Update:  Grandma’s lungs cleared overnight and she made it through.  The hospital released her to Hospice care at the nursing home where she and Grandpa live.