My dad called this morning and told me my aunt died of a heart attack. She was in her early sixties. Almost a year ago to the day (Nov. 22) my Granny died. Granny and Sis lived together all of Sis's life. Sis was mentally retarded and was born without a tongue.
This picture is of Granny at her funeral which I spoke at using John 14:1-4. Jesus has a placed prepared for each of us. He says he will come back for us because he has done so.
I realize it's odd to have a picture of her in the casket, but what hits me, aside from her strong Wyandotte Indian cheek bones, is the word Mom on the ribbon. When I see that, I connect with my dad's love and his sister Peg's love for their mother.
So, two years in a row Thanksgiving is spent with poles of joy and sorrow present in my heart. I imagine the split is even deeper for my dad. I can't say I was close to Sis. Most of the time I needed Granny to tell me what she was saying. What's sad to me has been this slow march of decay towards death for each of them.
My Granny stayed alive in pain as she cared for Sis. My grandad, Homer, died over thirty years ago and Granny spent the rest of her life being with and caring for Sis. She didn't go to church much over the last twenty-five years but lived with a strong faith and passed that love for God on to me. Over the last several years of her life she lived with broken bones in her body which could not be healed. The Wyandotte's were generous in their care in helping her take care of the house and taking care of Sis's feet being ravaged by her diabetes.
A year ago last fall Granny finally gave in to living in a nursing home. She hated it. She roomed with Sis there too. Granny died a few months later. Now after a year Sis is gone too.
Ann and I woke up this morning and talked about the people and circumstances for which we are thankful. It was a rich time and their is much blessing in our lives. One thing that Ann said is that she is thankful for my parents and their generosity. A big heart is behind that for my dad. I know it is filled with hurt as he buries his second family member in a years time.