Pats Picture

I didn’t think I’d have the strength to write this post, but today I’ve had many mixed emotions. I feel like it would be good for me to write out what happened.

Yesterday was my grandma, Patricia Dewey’s, funeral. It was an absolutely beautiful service. It was at Fairmount Mortuary, which she worked at for 18 years before she retired to spend more time with me and my younger brother, Ryan.

On the handout, the picture above is on the front cover, and it says “Celebrating the Life of Patricia Ann Dewey” February 26, 1940-April 3, 2013.

The service started at 11 am with bagpipes performing “Amazing Grace.” This alone brought tears to my eyes. I always loved the sound of bagpipes, and I know my grandma did too.

Pastor Ray Cook did most of the service, with the welcome, prayer, message of hope, and benediction. Our family is immensely blessed to have him be there with us and to do this service. He knew my great grandma, and my grandma extremely well. He was their favorite. He would visit their home just to make sure they were doing alright, and he prayed over both of them on their deathbed. I can’t describe how important he is to our family and how thankful I am for him helping out so much.

After Ray’s introduction, my mom and I went up to the microphone to read a scripture. Mom went first and read out of Proverbs. I read out of Proverbs as well. I told everyone that I had been studying Proverbs, and that in this book of the bible “Wisdom” is referred to a lot as a “She” or woman figure. I thought that my grandma was this womanly, wisdomly figure This is the verse I read:

“I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.
With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.
My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver.
I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice,
bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me and making their treasuries full.
The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old;
I was formed long ages ago, at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
When there were no watery depths, I was given birth, when there were no springs overflowing with water;
before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth,
before he made the world or its fields or any of the dust of the earth.
I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
Then I was constantly at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence,
rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.

Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways.
Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it.
Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.
For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord”

Proverbs 8:17-35

I don’t know exactly why this verse spoke to me, or why I was driven to speak it at the funeral, but I always remember my grandma being so wise and full of Jesus’ love. Whenever I had a problem, she said that I could crawl up in His lap. If I ever did something bad, she said that she may not like what I’m doing, but she would always love me, and to never do anything to make God cry. I know I’ve made God cry with some of my past actions. And I have a legacy to fill. With both my grandma and G.G. being wise women of the lord, I don’t want anything less than to make them proud. I want it for myself too.

Anyways, as the service at the funeral moved on, Dave Lemieux sang “How Great Thou Art” and “I Can Only Imagine” while playing the piano. Wow, his voice really shook up the place. I was hit once again by the words of these wise men singing about the Lord, and about how great he is, and about heaven.

During the open microphone, some people went up just to talk about how much of an inspiration Grandma was to them, and how she always had humor to make them feel comfortable. They also played the song, “Spirit in the Sky” that was in the “Remember the Titans” soundtrack, which was pretty awesome. I could just imagine grandma dancing to that song..

After the service, we drove our cars the the burial site. Ryan, my brother was with me as I drove behind Pastor Ray who was behind my dad and mom. We exited our cars, and we heard more Bagpipes playing, bringing more tears to my eyes. My brother and father were Pallbearers, so they carried her casket to the grave-site. It was cold and windy, but Ray continued with his prayers and all the family and friends were behind, in prayer, and in peace as he asked us to remember our most happy memory with her.

My happy memory was when she officially retired, and I was about 8. She took me to the “Aquarium,” which had a different name back then. It wasn’t that big of a deal, but it was for me because she left her workplace to spend more time with me and Ryan. And she did. And I miss her so much. I have 2 holes missing from my heart. We used to have 5 generations. I was most used to 4. But now it’s down to 2, within a year pretty much. I love my mom, and I know she needs support too. She was raised by these women.

What’s next? I don’t know. Time will tell. But here’s a picture of us 4 generations. Strong, loving women.

4 generations picture


Journal Entry: Hospice Day 3

She’s in a lot of pain, and moving around, agitated. She’s talked a little bit. She has weird chunks in her mouth. She has swelling in her hand. “Will you take it off please” is the clearest thing I’ve heard her say tonight, regarding her broken shoulder/arm on the pillow. “Help me, Hurry,” is what she’s saying. She just asked for water.

Maybe I should blog about it. Maybe people will have some words of wisdom or advice. Maybe it would be nice to share my story. It’s a hard story to tell. It’s a hard story to live. I don’t know how to describe it, how I lost G.G. (Great Grandma) one year ago, and now I’m losing my grandma. In the worst way imaginable. Maybe I should keep it to myself for a while.

I just don’t know what to do. I need something to keep me busy while I’m here. Maybe read, write some more. But write about what?

Dear Grandma,

Soon, you will find the sunlight over those rocky hills. All of your pain will be dissolved into the brisk air. You will feel the warmth of God’s breath on your forehead. You will have the relief to take a full, deep breath again.

I wish I could take all of your pain, and put it into me instead. You always took care of me. You always knew what to say when I came to you for advice. I know I was stubborn sometimes, and didn’t visit you enough, and I wish I could take it back.

You gave me your car, the ’93 Subaru Legacy when I was 16. I still have childhood memories of you taking me to pre-school in that car, always having a sucker for me in the glove box when you picked me up.

You are an example to live by. You changed so many people’s lives. You accepted everybody, no matter their race, religion, ethnicity, socio-economic status- and you always had humor and kind words to cheer someone up.

I accept your departure from this earth, into the other realm. I can only Imagine. What it will be like to meet Jesus. And your mother, brother, father, grandfather.

I will be okay. We will be okay. I just don’t want to see you suffer anymore.

I know where you are going, and I know that you will be with me always and forever. Give a big kiss to G.G. for me.