Sunday, February 15, 2009

Zella Mae

Its Sunday, February 15, 2009. I have no photos to post... though I have many of my beloved grandma... some when she was young and beautiful... some when she was middle aged and beautiful... and some when she was old and most beautiful of all. But they will have to wait until my computer comes back from the shop. For now, I have only words... and very inadequate ones at best. My beloved grandma passed on Friday, February 13. Her last days were scrambled. She had lived in the home my grandpa built for her until she fell and broke her hip several years ago. After that day she couldn't live alone any longer, and went to live with my aunt and uncle in Wisconsin. She lived there for several years and was doing quite well. Her mind was always sharp as a tack and her heart was strong. Then a sad turn of events. With the economic downturn, my aunt and uncle lost their home... and had to send grandma to another aunt and uncle to continue her care. That was in December. The downturn in grandma's health started then. Not that they didn't care for her well... they loved her and gave her every ounce of their time, love and care... but at 95 years old, moving is never a good thing. It disoriented her, and she lost her will to live on. I have always talked to her by phone at least weekly, and more often daily ... so I kept talking to her with the hopes of helping her to stay as oriented and connected as possible. As her health slid, and after two hospitalizations ... a week ago she fell into a low that she never recovered from. The doctors said her heart was strong, and could've kept her alive for a few more years... by her will was gone. She told me that she had talked to "Harold (my grandpa), Hank (her youngest son, my uncle - gone 2 years ago), and Ruthie (her sister)... saying they were asking her to come. I asked her what she told them. She said she wasn't quite ready. But on Friday, she was finally ready. I talked to her phone that day. The doctors said she could hear me, so I kept talking. My aunt told me she smiled when she heard my voice. These are the things I cling to now. She was one of those women whose heart was made of solid gold. She lived a good life. A long life, and now I search for those things that hang like rainbows in the dark clouds over my house... the memories of her, cherished gems in my heart. On Wednesday I will fly with my Dad, Mom and sister to Ohio, and "the home place" for very likely the last time... to lay her to rest next to my grandpa. Wooster, Ohio has been "home" to our family for 4 generations. The original "home place" was built by my great great grandfather, an ex-Amishman who had an amazing skill with wood. My father was born in that house, and its the place I spent many a happy summer... swimming is the "crick," wandering the corn fields (until they were too tall for little children), cooking with my grandma and great-grandma, snapping peas and beans on the front porch, catching the fire-flies and putting them in a bottle to sit on my dresser for a nightlight... oh, the memories flood forward, along with my tears. I will miss... I am missing my beloved grandma... friend, as much as family to me... she taught me much of that which is most important to me. She set my compass as much as my mother did. To love, to always forgive, to share, to have and hold the most awesome gift of family. The two most important women to shape my life... my grandma and my mother. I have been gifted with the best gifts life has to offer. Thank you grandma. Remember to go to Yoder Street up there ... and I will follow to meet you there one day... only hopefully a few years down the line. I love you grandma.


  1. My heart goes out to you Vicki in the passing of your so beloved Grandma...and what a lovely albeit sad will always have those cherised memories of your so idyllic childhood...and I have tears now with you. Bless you and your family as you prepare to fly over to 'the home place'...Dzintra

    And can I ask...what is an ex-Amishman...did he opt out of the Amish way?

  2. Oh Vicki ,

    this is such a tearful and loving post written from deep within a gentle grandaughter who adored her grandma very much.So very sorry to hear of your loss.
    P.S. You didn’t need pictures to paint the soul of this beautiful woman, you did die quite well with words

    All the best to you and yours,
    Hugs Annabelle

  3. I am so sorry for your loss......
    Your posting in your Grandmothers honor was beautiful and moving.
    My father died last year....he struggled for many months, then lost his battle....he too saw his long lost relatives gathered in his room beckoning him to come.
    I, like you, knew then that it was surely his time to go.
    Know that her spirit is with you always....and you will surely see her again one day......

  4. Vicki - I have finally made it here. You know what took so long. This is a wonderful, loving tribute to your Grandmother, and a wonderful recollection of childhood, when life didn't seem quite so hard. 95 is a grand age, I've discovered.

    Take care of yourself, allow yourself to feel whatever you feel. You are in my thoughts & prayers.


  5. Dear Vicky,

    I am so sad to hear of your grandmother's passing. I have been reading your beautiful words and I feel the pain you are going through. When I lost my grandmother I grieved so badly and it took a very long time to get over as I loved her so and missed her so very much, just like you with your grandmother now.

    I do know that she is now closer to you now more than ever, when you think of her she will be there especially while your in the garden and at peace. She sounds like a wonderful soul, very beautiful and caring.

    My thoughts are with you through this sad time of your life. I dedicated my blog to my grandmother (Nana. She was closer to me than my mother was.

    Your little Sophia is stunningly beautiful and you really should make some of your images larger as they are amazing, especially the birds on the bench.

    I hope your weeks and months ahead are not too sad, but filled with wonderful thoughts of your lovely grandmother.


    Coty Farquhar, Australia