You may be wondering where I've been for the past week...
On Monday, my Grandma, Mary Rose Beans, had a heart attack while gardening and fell and cracked her skull open. They rushed her to the hospital but there was not much they could do. Because of the heart attack they couldn't treat the bleeding in her head and because of her head injury they couldn't operate on her heart. A classic and devastating catch 22.
My mom and I arrived at the hospital in Canton, Ohio (2 hours away) on Wednesday morning and by that afternoon they transferred her to a hospice in New Philadelphia where her and her husband Charlie live. We sat by her side for 3 days. We held her hand, talked to her, and wet her mouth with a sponge.
On Wednesday night and Thursday she had several moments of great clarity that almost gave us hope that she might pull through. She made jokes and was her normal sassy self. Also in true form, she ate about 4 containers of chocolate ice cream they told us that it pays to be under the weather!
By Saturday she was completely unresponsive and by Sunday they had to put her on a breathing machine. Late Sunday night she went to be with Jesus.
The whole thing was so sudden. She was 83 and had always been in great health. I'm just glad that she didn't have to suffer for a long time because she made it very clear to all of us that she never wanted to be in a nursing home.
She was an amazing lady! I know everyone says that about their beloved grandma but she was truly one of a kind! Growing up I can remember trying to describe her to my friends. I would say things like she's just not your typical grandma. She doesn't knit or bake or sit around. She's sassy, she's funny, she eats her dessert before her dinner because life is short, you know. She rode a motorcycle until she was into her 70's! She was on her 3rd husband and always said she was working on him too! She ran a thrift Store called Second Hand Rose for many years in New Philadelphia, Ohio which is where my love of thrift shopping began! She also dedicated many years of her retired life to volunteering at a local cat shelter. Cats were her life!
She had a rough life at times but always knew she had much to be grateful for. For some, being adopted might evoke feelings of abandonment but for her it was something that set her apart and made her special. For some, getting pregnant at 16 and having a baby would feel like the end but she did her best to be a good mama and provide for her growing family. For some, having a not so great first husband and then meeting the love of your life only to loose him to death would make you give up on love but she opened up her heart once again to a handsome neighbor named Charles Austin Beans. And for some burying your son at the age of 60 would be too much to handle but she lived on to keep his memory alive.
I am just so grateful for all the wonderful times we had together! I have always been acutely aware
that she wouldn't be with us forever so I tried to spend as much time together as the distance between us would allow. My mom and I took 7 annual trips down to Florida to visit her and made some really great memories that I will cherish forever! Some of my favorite memories of my grandma are of us shopping together at Bealls and The Exchange, the amazing grilled cheese sandwiches she made me when I was sick, drinking margaritas and tequila rose, happy hour at Camp N' Aire, the time we took her to Disney's Animal Kingdom and she thought the Lion King show was pretty awesome, her helping me check people out in her thrift store, but my favorite times were the nights we would crawl in bed together and watch Days of our Lives or Family Feud and I would ask her questions about her past and secretly record it all in my cell phone so I wouldn't forget a single precious memory...
and I won't