Sunday, May 20, 2012

At least the chickens are all good....

I started the blog to write about my girls in the hen house, but it quickly  became clear that I was using it to let out some emotion that I felt more comfortable writing about than talking about. The girls celebrated their 2nd birthdays (hatched-days?) a few weeks ago and just like the year they were born it has been a late winter and spring of loss.

My grandmother, Ruth, died on March 1 after a brief period of being in the hospital and a nursing home (and back again in both). She was a month short of her 92nd birthday and all of us in her family are left a little bewildered at her passing. We never really thought she'd leave so suddenly (or at all, she seemed indestructible). She outlived her husband by 38 years and her daughter by 23 months.....she never got over mama dying.

Yesterday I walked through her home and in her yard for the last time. I said goodbye to a huge chunk of my life. She lived on a street that when I was a child was home to her aunt, her sister and her brother. Those houses were places to play and hide, they were what I thought of as home when we moved away to join my dad when he was stationed on a base rather than a ship. And now they are all gone....I'm beginning to get an idea of what it must have been like for her, outliving all 11 of her siblings and their spouses, her husband and child, a good many of her nieces and nephews and almost all her friends. I hope that when she died she did indeed go to sleep so she could be with her family, just like she wanted.

Grandma went with us to check out the guys we ended up buying the girls from. She always asked about them, how many eggs they were laying...when she came to our house she'd go out and see them. I supplied eggs to her and she took great pride in showing folks her green and brown eggs. She'd call me when I was coming to her house and ask me to bring  eggs for some of her nieces to say thank you for all the help they were to her. She told everyone about my chickens and would want me to tell them their names. She also tried to convince me and the girls that if they'd let me put their heads under a wing and rock them they'd go to sleep (never happened, but she tried a few times).

If there is any justice in the universe she woke up surrounded by all her family but knows how much she is still loved and remembered.

My son Ian with his great-grandmother Ruth.

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