Sunday, July 07, 2013

Saying goodbye to my grandmother

Well, it turned out not to be the vacation I expected, but I was in the perfect place for peace.

My grandmother Lydia Beeler Mabe passed away last night. She was 88.

She was taken to the hospital June 29 after falling at her home. She hadn't broken anything but scans revealed cancer that had metastasized from a lung to her liver and beyond. She had been hurting longer than she had admitted.

Doctors gave her a month. She stayed for seven days. Her hospital/hospice stay was short. For that, I am thankful. I am grateful, too, for our final conversations last week.

I will need time to tell you more about her. Meanwhile, I will send you the link to a column I wrote last week for the newspaper. (This link will work until Sunday, June 14.) Any other words at this point seem inadequate.

Before cutting my vacation short, I spent much of the week in quiet, solitary contemplation. I read Jonathan Schwartz's memoir and "2001: A Space Odyssey." I listened to Schwartz's show on Sirius/XM. I sought solace in the Great American Songbook and in the music of Elvis Presley and of John Denver and of Francis Albert Sinatra, all of the sweet songs that pluck at my heartstrings.

I watched "Star Trek" and "Magnum, p.i." and "Harry O" and, on a deliciously stormy night, I watched "Night Gallery" and enjoyed the shivers up my spine.

I sat on the screened-in deck and watched the rhythm of the rain. I watched the waves wash across my Walden. I remembered. I wept.

My hope for you is that you enjoyed a safe and happy Independence Day. My wish for you is that you have a wonderful week.

Hug a stranger. Tell somebody you love them. Smile just for the heck of it. Dance in the rain.

Life, in all of its mysteries, is a short stay, indeed.


Blogger Connie Sharpe said...

Thanks for sharing your relationship with your grandmother. She was an inspiration to everyone I know who knew her or talked with her during her illness. My prayers are with you during this special time.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Jake Mabe said...

Thank you so much, Connie. Your note, thoughts and prayers are much appreciated.

11:08 AM  

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