When their children were grown, Jessie and Frank kept busy as rock hounds, square dancing, and travelling the country. After they moved to Arizona, they became Sunbirds - leaving in April for cooler country and returning in October. They went to Oregon and Alaska fishing for salmon - canned it and brought it home to stock the pantry with lots of other goodies.
Christmas 2006 - Me, Gram & DH
We weren't around my grandparents alot when I was young, but my mother was always in contact with them. 20 years ago my family moved to Arizona also, so we became more acquainted. When it was time for Grandma to go to a nursing home a few years ago, my mom chose one less than a mile from my home. My mom would visit her several times a week, seeing to her needs, and always bringing fresh flowers and sugar-free cookies. Grandma Jessie loved her chocolate as well- having a 2 lb box of See's Chocolates on special days!
When my mom passed away in Feb 2006, the responsibility of tending to Grandma Jessie landed on my shoulders, and it has been an honor. Walking into the nursing home with bouquets of fresh flowers, the staff knew I was going to see Jessie. She had a "boyfriend", Mark the maintenance man, who would stop and give her a kiss whenever he could.
But all good things usually come to an end, and Grandma Jessie's time came. I knew her time was imminent this past week - she'd been assigned to hospice care recently as her condition was deteriorating. She refused to eat or drink - I think she was tired of being here, with her body not working so well, and she gave up. As I was driving home from work yesterday, one of the nurses called to tell me she was gone. I was there within a few minutes, and stayed until the mortuary came to get her. I'll clean out her room later today and bring her belongings home.
I believe that her Mother's Day will be spent visiting with her daughter, my mom. My dad had the wish that he could whisper something in Grandma's ear, a message of love to take to his bride. I'll miss them both on this Mother's Day, but will remember their examples to me, and strive harder to be a Mother that they'll be proud of .