Friday, October 17, 2008
Laura Armeta Barnes 1923-2008
Christmas 1964 and 2006
Last Wenesday evening my Grandma passed away. She had been in the Alzheimer's unit at a local nursing home for the past 16 months.Our family had hoped and prayed for a peaceful passing ; she had diminished to a confused whisper of herself both mentally and physically. My Mom ,myself and Grampa were there when she left. She was probably waiting for all family members to come say goodbye, somehow. I couldn't visit on a regular basis, fearful that this newer memory of her would be unbearable and somehow override all the fond childhood memories. I was the first Grandchild ,born on their 22nd wedding anniversary.
after the initial shock of seing her so close to the end of her life,I felt a stange sense of calmness and accepting. Appropriately enough, my Mom and I were with her at the end ,pulling threads through on a quilt that needed to be done by that Friday for our Quilt Guild show that weekend.I don't think she would have thought it was a pretty quilt, but she would have been helping us finish it just the same.
My Grandma was the pure definition of the word. My Mom's Mother, full of kindness,generosity,grace and warmth.She was an accomplished seamstress, tailoring and sewing countless garments for her children and grandchildren. Always there to hem or alter a garment when we were growing up. Her love of "material" was passed on though my mom and myself. I have many fond memories of going to the fabric store with her and spending time in her sewing room which smelled like emeraude perfume and spray sizing.My sister and I laughed at our too long dress pants for the funeral. She was trying to hem hers, I gave up and had brought the painters tape.Our Grandma had spoiled us with her willingness to sew for us.
The funeral service infortunately , in my eyes, was an unfortunate dis-service. I had not been to many funerals but I thought the whole idea was to give a happy snapshot of that person's life. The pastor told stories that were for sure out of context for they were given to him by family members. Somehow they were reduced to the dogmatic delarations of the consequences of Sin ....etc....blah blah.
I was so very offended by this man's proclamations that had I known , I would have gotten up and (as my Aunt Kathy so perfectly stated "Sit down buddy, I'm telling the stories,I'll let you know when I'm done!") given a more accurate portrayal of the love ,kindness and grace that was my Grandma.
My Grandma was 40 years old when I was born on their wedding anniversary.She would have been 85 this December 11,2008.
Myself at 44, I hope to continue to remember how my Grandma lived her life, and to hopefully somehow follow her example.If I live to be the same age I have 40 years more to strive to live my life to the fullest .
As she would say "I'd better get busy!