My grandmother, Edna Butler, passed away a week and a half ago.
My Maw-Maw Nina. That's what we always called her. She was an amazing woman.
I remember countless trips to the Audubon Zoo. We loved it! My grandparents kept a membership there so we could go anytime we were with them. My Paw-Paw would make corned beef sandwiches to take with us. Yum! I still love those sandwiches.
During my elementary and jr. high school years, we lived about an hour away from them. So, we got to see them quite a bit. I would lazily walk home from school each day, but if I spotted their maroon Oldsmobile in our driveway I would break out into a run.
Memories I love.
- Hanging clothes on the clothes line
- Trips to the Esplanade Mall (the biggest mall I had ever seen as a kid!)
- Making cookies and brownies in her big, pink, mixing bowl.
- Going to church with her. She always lead the music. In Primary, Sacarament and Sunday School opening exercises. She would stand up and say, "Good Morning!" And everyone would answer back in unison, "Good Morning Sister Butler!"
- I loved learning and hearing stories about all things Irish, English and Scottish. She was born in Belfast, which is part of the UK. She and my mother even got me involved with Scottish dancing when I was younger.
- Her grandfather clock, chiming all night long, when we slept over.
- She would hand us little dixie cups and a bag of M&M's. We would count them out one by one to make sure everyone got the same amount.
- She always had tons of stories to tell. She had a fantastic memory.
- "Swimming" in her jacuzzi.
- Saying prayers with her at night.
I remember one time my parents were out of town and I was sick. I felt absolutely miserable. She sat on the edge of my parent's waterbed ( not always the most comfortable place to sit for too long). I held her hand and then placed it under my cheek and fell asleep. When I woke up again, she was still there. That still amazes me. She stayed there the whole time while I napped because I loved the way her hand felt on my face.
She has been very hard of hearing as long as I can remember. I loved to talk to her about things that were going on. She wanted me to tell her all my secrets, she promised she would keep them. Of course I believed her, but considering how loud I had to talk so that she could hear me everyone in the house would already know! :) So then, I had to wait until everyone else was gone.
She died on Tuesday, September 16th. My mother called me that morning to let me know that she thought it would happen soon. When I got there, two of my brothers were there. I have one brother and one sister that live in the Houston area, which had just been hit hard by Hurricane Ike. My brother's house still did not have electricity, but he and his wife are both school teachers and didn't have any school all week as the city tried to recover. They wanted to come as soon as possible, but the lines at the gas stations were 3-4 hours long. Knowing that they had a 3 hour drive ahead of them, they couldn't wait that long. They had to siphon gas from other vehicles so they would have enough to make the trip. They made it in time. Maw-Maw Nina was surrounded by family who loved her dearly when she passed.
A couple of days ago someone told me, " I'm sorry about your grandmother." I just smiled and thanked her. But then I think to myself, "Have you heard about my grandfather? He got the love of his life back. One year, four months, and two days. That's how long he waited to be reunited with his eternal companion." I can only imagine the joy he felt that night. We cried, but I'm sure he was smiling.
My grandfather's funeral was really hard. I think that's because he was the first to go. Her funeral was different. I alternated between feeling sad and smiling. To me it truly felt like a celebration of her life and good-bye for now. My parents had bagpipers play as they put her in the hearse and at the cemetary. They played two of her favorites, Amazing Grace and Danny Boy. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful service.