Thursday, August 9, 2012

Gram Nell

This is a picture of my paternal grandparents, Tom and Nellie.  This picture would have been taken in 1935, the year they got married.

My grandpa Tom died in 1958.  He was 47, my Gram Nell was 44.  My dad, their youngest child, was only 15 years old. 

After Grandpa Tom passed away, Gram Nell went to work in the deli at Gerbes in Jefferson City and worked there until she retired.  She never remarried. 

Every year for my birthday she brought me a german chocolate cake from Gerbes.  I looked forward to those cakes like nobody's business.  My mom is allergic to chocolate, so that cake was my ONE chocolate cake of the year.

When I was a little girl I had very long hair.  Gram Nell didn't like long hair and, without my mom's permission, she took me and got my hair cut.  Bobbed just below the ears.  I hated it, but it grew back.

She also loved to pull teeth.  YUCK.  Once when I was at her house she chased me around the yard and when she caught me she pulled my tooth.  I told her I hated her.  I apologized many times over the years for saying that, and we even joked about it when I became an adult.  She knew I didn't mean it.  But it bothers me to this day.

Most people would describe my grandma as kind of a stern lady.  She was never a huggy, touchy grandma.  She has been widowed longer than she was married.  She has been widowed for more than half of her life.  She is 98 years old.  Will be 99 on December 11th.

She is the second oldest of eleven children and only has one surviving sibling, a sister who lives in Las Vegas.  It must be so sad to bury all your siblings, especially when, as one of the oldest, I'm sure she thought she would go first.  Is living a long time a blessing or a curse?

Today my dad and his sisters are putting my Gram Nell into the nursing home.  And she doesn't even know it.

She has been living with one of my dad's sisters the past couple of years, and physically is in good health.  But mentally she has been failing. And the past six months, she has really become confused.  Sometimes when I go see her she knows me.  Other times she doesn't. 

In the last couple of weeks she has gotten much worse.  She is aggressive toward my aunt.  She is so confused.  As I said, she has no idea that tonight she will sleep in a strange place, among strangers.

We have no choice but to put her in a nursing home where she can be taken care of.  But it still hurts.  I love my Gram Nell. 

Please be praying. 

This picture was taken at my house in June at our family reunion.  Gram Nell was all smiles that day, and happy.  But later that day she was confused, and wondered where she was.  She does that a lot lately.

Sometimes people don't last long once they go to a nursing home.  I know that.  I keep thinking she will get better.  That I can get MY Gram Nell back.  And every day she gets worse.

I will go see Gram Nell in the nursing home.  And I wonder if she will know me.

Please be praying.

My Gram Nell loves Jesus, and that is our comfort.  That no matter when He takes her, that I will see her again.  And she will be MY Gram Nell, the way she used to be.


  1. My prayers will be with you. My Daddy has been sick for years now and does not know me anymore. Once in a while he will smile at me - I still enjoy those little moments.

  2. What a blessing to have your grandma with you! I know how difficult this is, as it's something I've been through many times with various family members...not doing it myself, but watching my parents, etc, have to do it. It's so hard. My prayers are with you~

  3. She's lucky to have you and your family. (And vice versa.) I have been through this with a grandmother and my own mom. Just continue to love and visit as much as you can. When God decides to take her, you will know you continued to make memories until the end.
    A hug for you!

  4. I am so sorry and pray your beloved Gran Nell will be at peace.

  5. Thanks for your visit...this is one beautiful lady! Loved your post on the rock...he is my rock also...what would we do without that knowledge?!!! :)