Monday, April 8, 2013

The Strongest Woman I Know: My Mummum

My Mummum, my mom's mom and last remaining grandparent, fell and hit her head nearly 2 weeks ago. We were preparing to go see her in the middle of the week, but she started getting better so decided to wait until the weekend so we didn't have to miss work. The plan was to leave first thing Sunday morning, spend the day with her, possibly saying our last goodbye. But after Shabbat, I frantically called my sister after seeing multiple missed calls on my cell and 2 on the home phone. My Mummum had passed away during the day, a day before we were supposed to go see her.

 I never got to say goodbye. I didn't get to ask her what it was like to grow up during the Great Depression, to watch her brothers and husband go off to war, to raise 3 daughters and then 2 grandchildren. I only just started our conversations about cloth diapering, then and now. About my mom as a little girl. About raising her own chickens and growing their own food.

 She never received one of Buddy's really big hugs that he only gives to those he really cares about. She never heard him put 2 words together, let alone a 3-word sentence. She didn't get to see Buddy defy his parents, calculating his every move, get into her cabinets and make the messes I think she missed with her kids. They never got to sit and stare out the window, waiting for the bunnies, groundhog, squirrels, birds, deer and possibly the turkey or bears that would wander into her yard. Buddy loves watching for animals now. She'll never see him pee in the big potty or throw a ball in the backyard.

She'll never see her new great grandchild.

But I did get to share my childhood with her. To play badminton over her clothes line. To pick apples from her trees. To take a walk on her farm. To see her with her 3rd great grandchild. I got to see her yell at her daughter, my mom, for not letting us have pie before dinner.

Mummum was an amazing woman. She started taking college classes in her 70s. She learned how to paint, how to draw. She used water colors, acrylics and made 3D paintings with beads, layers of paint and other items she found around her house. She made a stained glass window, picked up making mosaics and wire work. She loved picking out precious gems to use in her latest jewelry. She had a health scare, started going to exercise classes and lost a bunch of weight. She felt amazing, her mind was sharp. She was driving at 90 and lived alone in the house she brought up her children in. She wanted to die in that house. And I guess she did. That house was her home and she said she wouldn't leave unless you dragged her out in a body bag. Her mind was sharp until the very end. She put everyone in their place and ruled like she knew she was the matriarch of the family. Because she was. And she did it better than anyone else could.

I'll miss my Mummum, but I am so glad I have my memories with her. Buddy will know her through the few pictures we have of them. Mummum's memory is a blessing, for all who knew this amazing woman.

No comments:

Post a Comment