It happened yesterday around noon. She's been in the hospital (this trip) for about 2 weeks now. She's always been in bad health- been on oxygen since right around the turn of the century- and still would occasionally take it off to go smoke a cigarette up until about seven years ago.
I feel horrible for not being able to remember how old she was- even though she was very young- I think she was right around 60 years old. And, up until about 8 years ago, she was 'hell on wheels'. Just a tiny hair over 5 feet tall, and never more than 110 pounds and wouldn't be backed down by anybody. When she got in an argument, or some other altercation, she would always take this pose... shoulders back, leaning forward slightly- from the ankles- stretched as far out as she could be, chin forward, eyes kinda squinty and glaring... (think ski-jumper, but really angry and you've pretty much got it).
People think I'm crazy when I tell them the 'pet names' she had for me- this being a family friendly forum, I won't just throw them out there- and the fun we had. I was the first grandchild- and it stayed that way until my sister came along in 1997. So, we got into a lot of trouble together; 'midnight' (anywhere between 1-4 am) runs to Wal-Mart (before it went downhill), she used to stand on her head- something I had to make her prove to everyone, and the pranks we would play, the trips we took around town in her '55 Bel Air that she got for an anniversary/birthday present- she was so small I could barely fit on the front bench seat with her without my knees being in the glove box- and having to help her turn the wheel when we weren't moving.
I can't even count how many times she pushed 18 wheelers out of the way in her '86 Town Car... No matter what we were doing, who we were with, or where we were, I was always closest with my grandmother. Not because I loved her more than I did my mother, but because I spent almost as much time with my grandmother as I did my mother. Single parents have life hard, so do their kids sometimes. One of the many reasons I like the things I do is because of my grandparents- 'old' things- cars, grandfather clocks, furniture, most anything that is older than the '80s actually...
Anyway, off topic... We lost a great woman yesterday, and we'll be feeling that loss for a long time. Just, please remember, make all the memories you can while you can. With your great grandparents, grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, everybody; because when times get hard, it's those memories that make it just a little easier to get through.