On July 1st, That Chick Over There at Jason. For the Love of God wrote a post about her grandmother's death called The Business of Life that struck a chord with me. She writes:
I wonder how anyone can do it.How do you sum up a life? Especially when you yourself know so little about a person. That's how I feel about my grandmother now. My grandmother died in January of 2005, She'd been sick for a while -- several strokes and the amputation of one of her legs due to her diabetes had left her bedridden and unable to speak.
How can anyone sit down and chronicle the life of a 94 year old woman into a 2x2 inch column for the newspaper.
Someone can sit down with a little pad of paper and a pencil and write down the dates and times. Someone can make a list and count up all the grandchildren, the great grandchildren, and the great-great grandchildren. Someone can list the places she's lived, the child that she lost, the husband who died almost fourteen years ago to the day.
But who can say who she was when she was a little girl? Who knows her stories of how she felt as a young mother, a young bride? Who knows her secrets?
Who knows how much her family loved her? How do you capture what her voice sounded like when she laughed? How can you put into words what it meant, as a little child, sitting with her as she told you Bible stories..."working" side by side with her in the garden?
Oh, sure, there are things I know about her, things I remember from my childhood. She was an excellent cook. She used to sing "Lazybones" and "A Tisket, A Tasket" to me all the time. She was mother to seven children, grandmother to twelve, greatgrandmother to twenty-two. She lived through the Depression and its lingering aftermath in the south.
But who was she? What were her hopes and dreams as a girl? What were her hopes and dreams for her children?
That Chick goes on to say:
I'm left to wonder who I will be someday, to the newspaper. How it will feel when I am an old woman and my children are left to write the story of my life. I hope to God they know how much I love them.I, too, hope these things.