Friday, December 27, 2013
Please Come See Me......
I can not remember the last time I saw either of my Grandma's.
My mom's mom, Grandma Vera, well, Grandma Vera's birthday was yesterday.
My dad's mom, Grandma Jones, well, Grandma Jones' birthday was December 16.
I believe both my Grandma's would be over 100 years old if they were still around to celebrate birthdays.
I remember on my birthday in 1994 Grandma Jones sent me a birthday card, just like she had for decades. I did not know, then, it was to be the last birthday card I'd ever get from Grandma Jones. In that card, Grandma wrote, in shaky script, written with a hand holding a pen which had been rendered weak by a stroke, "please come see me."
That "please come see me" plea haunts me.
In October of 1994 I returned from a long road trip to get a call from my mom, the day after I returned, telling me that Grandma Jones had died.
It is almost 20 years and I still have trouble with thinking about "please come see me".
Grandma Vera was at my mom and dad's 50th wedding anniversary party on August 11, 2001. One month before September 11, 2001. I'd driven myself back home, solo, in what is currently the last time I've driven back to Washington. All subsequent trips north have been via the boring airplane method of travel.
I do not remember if it was at my mom and dad's 50th that I last saw Grandma Vera.
One of the times I was up north, early in this century, nephew Joey and I drove up to Bellingham, in Whatcom County, in Washington, to visit Grandma Vera. I remember when we left, taking the elevator to the ground floor, Joey telling me that Grandma would be at the window to wave us goodbye. Joey was correct in his prediction.
I do not remember if the Grandma visit with Joey was before or after mom and dad's 50th.
What I do remember is the last time I was in Whatcom County was July 26, 2002, for a Jones family reunion in Lynden. Lynden is a Dutch town a couple miles south of the Canadian border.
When the reunion was over I could not get out of Whatcom County fast enough. I had originally planned on visiting Grandma Vera, in Bellingham, before heading back to Seattle. However, like I said, when that reunion was over I could not get out of Whatcom County fast enough, and so I got on I-5 and zipped by Grandma Vera in Bellingham.
That was to be the last opportunity I would have to see my Grandma Vera.
It was about a year later I learned Grandma Vera's health was failing. I remember talking to my Arizona sister while I walked with the Village Creek Indian ghosts, asking my sister if she would be heading north for Grandma's funeral when the inevitable happened. Ironically, unbeknownst to us, as we were talking, Grandma Vera had already passed away from this mortal coil.
Neither of us went to Grandma Vera's funeral, because there wasn't one. Grandma Vera did not want one. Grandma Vera was real good at getting what she wanted....