Friday, September 18, 2009

Adieu Mamie Renée

Christophe's grandmother finally passed away last night. She had caught cold early in the summer and we thought she would die then but she's always been healthy as a horse and she got better but she was weakened and little by little over the summer she started letting go. For the past 2 months she hasnt been eating and over the past month she stopped drinking as well. She had a sub-cutaneous hydration daily - that's it! I"m telling you - strong as a horse. She was at home, surrounded by three of her four children right up til the end. Her husband passed away about 25 years ago and her youngest son, christophe's father, passed away about 20 years ago. She had turned 104 ! in June!
I didnt know her very well even though she lived only 30 minutes away. But she was always very sweet and gave me some cotton crochet thread and hooks a while back when she learned i crocheted. she has beautiful handknit and crocheted items in her house. i recently found on one of our visits a lavander lace sweater that would make any modern knitter gawk. just beautiful and still used! it was on the chair next to her bed - the nurses would drape it over her shoulders when she got chilled. it has a few little holes but nearly perfect. this sweater is at least 30 years old!!!!
Chrisophe has fond memories of going out picking berries in the fall or hunting small game with his grandmother. He was 15 so she was 82!!!!!!! When you hunt or pick, you have to scraggle through brush and thorns and jump over ditches! Can you believe that? and she always loved to eat! she came to family dinners at constance's house just so excited! one of our christmas dinners i remember her throwing down a half lobster, foie gras, wine, roasted lamb, potatoes, green beans and polishing it all off with bread and cheese, desert and champagne. She had to have been about 98!
she used to say "The good Lord must have forgotten to call me home" and "I just pray God won't let me get old" (she was already well into her 90's when she said this).
She refused to go to the old people's poker nights, etc... cause she said the center was full of old people. and over the last three years she had gotten too weak to walk far so her daughter got her a wheel chair so she could go to the beach. at first she refused because she was embarrassed to be seen in a wheel chair but her daughter insisted and she had so much fun out at the beach up til 10:30 pm with ice cream and lights and fireworks and teens out messing and stuff that the next afternoon she bugged the crap out of regine til she took her out again.
i wish i could ave known her when she was younger - she seems like she would have been incredible . i also wish she hadnt been so deaf ever since i met her so we could have communicated a little more - i would have liked for her to tell me about her life. she went through both world wars, the rationing, the first telephone, first tv... lots of changes in over a century!
Well, Mamie, God finally came back and got you. I hope you're in your husband's and son's arms right this instant!!!!!!


memeto12 said...

oh becca, that is the sweetest post you've ever written. how odd that we were just talking about her the other day and now she is right where she belongs, with long departed loved ones in heaven. she sounds like the most remarkable lady and one with a wonderful sense of humor. hope all are ok. love you, mama

Kendra said...

Your post made me think of Jim's great aunt. Like you, I didn't get to know her the way Jim remembers her. But, she was a great lady to have taken care of Jim the way she did. And I'm sure the same is true of Christophe's grandmother. It is amazing that she lived such a long life.

Also, your post reminded me of something a friend told me their child prayed last night...

"Dear God, Please come and get me quickly or make life go by super-fast so that I can be with you."

caracolina said...

What a wonderful and fascinating lady! I can relate.... we lost DH's great aunt Eleanor a few months ago. She was in her nineties, the tiniest, bird-like, frail thing, with little bony hands and fingers. In her last years all she could do was lay in bed and get up a little bit to look out the window - and listen to talk radio on headphones (she didn't like TV). But she was a really strong woman all through her life. She'd live through the Great Depression in her youth and was always around for other people. When DH was born she was one of the people who took care of him and she ended up not marrying until her 60s (!) because she nursed her parents in their old age. Auntie used to sew and make lots of things in her younger years, and I wished I could have met her earlier, she could have shown me some things. Nonetheless I loved listening to her stories of the days gone by. This is her on DH's blog. R.I.P.

carolinej said...

What a wonderful post. It was great to read about her. We loose so much as the older generation leave us. They have so much knowledge and experience.

cj x