A Tale of 2 Grandmas
Saturday, May 05, 2012
Well, I was perusing Blog entries in my various teams, and there was one titled “Staying Active for Life” that got me thinking. The writer said “Being in shape affects everything we do”. Basically, the less we move, the less we will be able to.
My Mother was born and raised in Northern Utah. She grew up with both her Grandmothers in her life. Grandma Alvey was her maternal one, and she lived on the family farm. Grandma Grossman was her paternal one, and she lived with my mom’s family for a while.
Grandma Grossman passed in 1974, at age 84. She had been living in a nursing home for about 8 years. She had been over weight for most of her adult life. My mom says that Grandma Grossman turned 40 and decided she was an old woman. “Lynda dear, pick that up for me. You are young and I am an old lady.” Mom said Grandma G would say things like that all the time. She limited herself to activities that she felt were suited to an “old lady”.
Grandma Alvey passed in 1983 at the age of 95. The family had placed her in a nursing home when she started to show signs of dementia the previous year, and could no longer be left unsupervised. Grandma A flew to Hawaii in 1970 when I was born, because she decided it was time for her experience a plane ride, and she wanted a chance to “see the world” before she lost her eyesight completely to macular degeneration. When we visited in 1977, she was legally blind. She was still living alone on the family farm. She gave my sister and me a tour of both her vegetable and rock gardens, that she tended herself. She fixed the midday meal (the big meal) for “the boys” (My Great-Uncles and some of their sons). She hosted part of the annual family reunion. The Local newspaper did a human interest story on her, and they had a photo of her mowing her front yard. She was about 5 feet tall, and probably weighted 100 lbs dripping wet. My Mom’s sister, Aunt Char, said Grandma A believed if she gave in to her physical limitations, she was giving up on life.
I want to be Grandma Alvey when I grow up. I want to find ways to keep doing what I love, no matter what. I do not want to be Grandma Grossman, sitting in a rocking chair, waiting to die.