My Grandmother Martha
There are days when I am so busy with the little ones, that I hardly
have enough time to stop and sit down for a moment. There are days,
like today when I wake early in the morning and I want to snuggle
with the little ones. I have this thirst to tell my story. I wanted
to record a memory of my grandmother. She was a very strong woman
and exceptionally kind.
I loved horses and still do. One snowy winter day, my horses escaped
from their pasture. The horses were running madly from the forest to
the field and to the neighbors and back. All seven of them, running
around and kicking up their heels. Except that for this day, the fate of
my delightful pony Goldie would be decided. She had run over a plow
and the blade nicked her back right leg. The blade severed the bone and
this horse could barely walk. Her spirit was alive and well, but a portion
of the severed leg dangled below her massive body. It was a horrific sight.
The wound had stopped bleeding and, optimistically, I thought that she
would be «o.k.». I called out to my parents and let them know that Goldie
had been injured.
My parents immediately called the veterinarian and he arrived late that
afternoon. Some time during the visit, my mother told me that we would
have to go to town and see my grandmother. I cried all the way into town.
While there at my grandmother’s, I called several times to see how Goldie
was doing. «She’ll be o.k.?», I asked. Not wanting to know the answer,
I began sobbing. I wanted so badly to hear that her leg was in a cast
and that I could return home to see her. My grandmother comforted me.
Upon arrival, I counted the horses……one, two, three, four, five, six.
Number seven, where is number seven. I ran down to the pasture to
see and there next to the barn lay my sweet and feisty little Goldie.
She had been euthanized and the tears just came pouring down.
I could not stop crying. Deep inside, I was probably sad that the break
could not be set. The surgery would have cost $5,000. My Goldie was
worth all that and more. Why did her life have to end?
Looking back, I recall the time that Goldie’s life was taken. It was after
the period of time when my grandmother started taking «pills» everyday;
morning, noon and night. I asked her one day what each pill was for.
She told me very calmly, «These are pills that I take for a cold.» I accepted
her explanation. One year later my grandmother died. We now know that
she had Multiple Myeloma. In 1977, there was no cure and no successful
treatment for Multiple Myeloma. I have read, in 2007, that a person with
Multiple Myeloma can extend their life expectancy greatly with a new medication.
Still, there is not a cure.
As my grandmother watched me cry, that was her PREVIEW of how I would deal
with her death. I never stopped crying. And when it appeared as though,
I was done crying, I was not. I carried that grief, that loss, that shock, that
pain inside of me. In grief counseling, it took several years, every Friday, of
crying and of dealing with the LOSS of my grandmother.
Suddenly saying goodbye to Goldie seemed like ‘practice’ in grieving and in
crying. It was a goodbye that I couldn’t deal with. I could not contain the
grief. It was rampant; like a flood. And, eventually, I learned how to cope.
The sadness is still there, but it is a shallow sadness. Not, the deep sadness
that I faced for 30 years.
To learn to live with a broken heart, that is the goal.
The faith that my grandmother gave to me, that is the key to
resolving grief and sadness. Use the key, open the door.
Accept that gentle peace that comes with FAITH.
Embrace it. Hold it in your hands. Never let it go.
The cycle of life continues.
These thoughts, I hold in my memory:
Grandma Martha never would have wished that I would grieve for so long.
Let go…she would want me to be ‘happy’.
Later in life when I misplaced something dear to my heart,
I would repeat this mantra: It is not gone; it is just out of my reach.
That is where my grandmother is at the moment; not gone, but simply
out of reach.
Part of saying goodbye is saying ‘goodbye’ to the pain and the suffering.
Learn to live with a broken heart.
Find the treasure in the trial.
Surround yourself with positive people.
Hug and be the last person to let go.
When you miss someone, consider this:
know that having ALL of the people born
on this planet riding around in wheelchairs and
in hospital beds would be an overwhelming sight.
Imagine watching King Tut or Mother Teresa or
King Solomon cruising by in their wheelchairs.
Perhaps, Moses or Martin Luther King would
be interesting historical personalities to meet.
Enjoy today. It is a present.
Sandy S Zoo