Sunday, March 9, 2008

Grandma's Hands

Two years ago, at this time, I was sitting up in my grandmas house that love built with my sister Connie, my cousin Chris, and my beautiful grandma. We were sitting by our grandma trying to make sure she was as comfortable as possible as we new she would be leaving soon. She was not able to talk to us but Connie and Chris were holding her hands and stroking her hair. I was not supposed to be up because I would be driving to Flagstaff the next morning with Russ at 4 am to make it in time for his Graduate school interview. I was going to look at apartments while he was in the interview. I did not want to leave my grandma. I had not left all week, but I knew I had to go. I showered that night, which I never do because I don't blow dry my hair and it messes it up bad if I sleep on it wet. I am not sure why I showered at night, but I think it was a blessing because I got to spend those last hours with a couple of my best Friends. I am not going to go into too much detail, but I was sitting there reading the booklet the hospice nurse gave us and it gives a timeline for different symptoms they are having. I was noticing that she was doing everything on the list and the time was getting close. She sat up and cried like she was in pain so we gave her some morphine and decided to wake the rest of the family. I got Russ up and he sat next to me along with a lot of other loved ones and watched as she passed from this life to the next. She wanted to go so bad. I had the wonderful opportunity of spending time with her a couple times a week reading her her old letters and cards. She would tell me stories and I cherish that time so much. She was always telling me how ready she was to go. The next morning my cousin Erin had written this poem and I love it because it expresses a lot of my feelings in a way I can't.

Chris, Connie, and Debbie

"Which of these will ease my parting?"

Thought that surely never rose

From that heart so turned to others

As the paths for threads she chose.

Through the world her love has traveled

Carried into many lands

Firmly clasped into our blankets

By the workings of her hands.

'Ere we traveled to these sorrows

When we learned whose we would be

When we saw the scores already

Here as her posterity,

Did we ask to live this privilege?

For this honor did we plead?

"Which of us will ease her parting

when it comes her hour to leave?"

Would our hearts so prize this service,

were they not sown with her genes?

Through the world her love will travel.

She had given us the means.

Erin Cranor

March 10, 2006

Her posterity numbering over ten score:

Maggie Johnson Brown

I could never express the gratitude that I feel for being able to be not only related, but to have grown so close to such an amazing women. Everyone that knew her loved her and recognized her for the angel that she is. I hope that I can be more like her in every way. I started making quilts for my Etsy shop and for the craft fair because I realized that I love it and it reminds me of my childhood days laying under the quilts and my mom, grandma, and her sisters would quilt. It is a legacy that I hope will live on. I miss her, and I can't wait to see her again. Until that day...

Isn't she beautiful? Now I have to go to bed because I have a headache from crying.


  1. Oh Debbie, words can not express what I feel, thank you for posting that. As I was reading Erin's poem I again wondered why we were so blessed when others were so much more deserving. It is so easy to see my imperfections when I think of her near perfection. I hope it was because of the love that we shared for her and each other. Thanks for making me cry at work. Love you.

  2. Debbie, that was beautiful. Honestly you made me cry. Im so glad that you had such a wonderful relationship with her. I love to hear that you are making quilts and trying to keep a tradition going thats wonderful!

  3. Ok lately I have had so many mixed feelings about the same experience I had watching my mom die. You just cannot understand what it is like (sweet and sorrowful) to sit next to someone you love and watch them slip away unless you've been there. As you saw my post about my mom dying was pretty lame:) I sat there trying to put the experience in words and it is still just to hard for me. You expressed so many of the things I wanted to but couldn't. I guess I am still having a hard time letting myself grieve. It's hard for me to let myself go and really get those emotions out. Your post was honest. I really feel your pain, but also the peace and testimony that you gained from your experience that you have. Thank You!

  4. M A N.
    That is so wonderful that you were so close to her - It was great reading old letters and cards to her - how sweet.
    I can't wait to see your quilts - AWESOME!!!!

  5. Debbie, That was so beautiful to read, it brought tears to my eyes. I have never been with a loved one when they have passed. What a privilege. I think it is just as big a miracle as birth.



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