Saturday, May 13, 2006


Zula Brown: My grandmother with her (then) 8 month old granddaughter, Nyssa.
(Click picture for larger view)
Posted by Picasa
"Holding a great-grandchild makes getting old worthwhile." ~ Evelyn Rikkers
This was my grandmother holding Nyssa, her first and only great-grandchild. She was in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease even then, though we didn't suspect it at the time. She was becoming a child again herself; and so made a wonderful playmate for Nyssa. Though in her 80's, she gardened and at least for a while, was able to run around the back yard pushing the wheelbarrow with Nyssa sitting in the middle, hanging on to the sides and squealing with glee. They had tea parties with dolls and stuffed animals, both sitting on the floor in the corner of the library. Nyssa and Grandma blew bubbles together and read stories of kitties and princesses.

Nyssa's great-grandma made her a handpieced quilt with an intricate pattern, using cloth squares from the left-over material I had. Most of the cloth was extra from the different dresses I made her. It is a prized possession. I too have a quilt she made from pieces of my little dresses. I feel so fortunate that they had the time to really get to know each other before the Alzheimer's and a stroke made communication almost impossible. Even during those last years, when she forgot who Mom was and who I was; her eyes would still light up whenever Nyssa came into the room.

It was a Saturday when we said goodbye that last time. We were leaving for the airport to travel back to Mississippi. Grandma had been sitting at the kitchen table when she suddenly became lucid and talked of her childhood for about three minutes. We captured it on video. As suddenly as it came, the clarity left and that grey veil returned, the sparkle in her eye dulled and she was as before. Thankfully, that final illness was short, her suffering minimal and after only twenty-four hours, she was gone. Dad called us Monday morning to let us know she was ill and again a few hours later to let us know she was gone. Now she is with my grandpa and again her mind is clear and her step light; she is whole again. I expect to see her again someday and I know by then she will have tilled and planted enough flowers to increase Heaven's beauty fourfold, at least.

Zula Brown was a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was loved by all who knew her and we miss her still.
"It took me a long time to get used to the reality that my grandmother had passed away. Wherever I was, in the house, in the garden, out on the fields, her face always appeared so clearly to me. " ~ Huynh Quang Nhuong
Submission for PXITE topic "Mother". (end of post)

No comments: