My Grandma died this past week. She lived a very full and vibrant life. This is her on the left with her three sisters. Exactly one week before she died; my sister, niece and I went to Bend to visit with her. I hadn’t seen her since she moved into assisted living. So the Grandma I saw in the hospital was a mere shadow of her former self. We visited with my mom and uncle who had been with her everyday. We chatted and laughed as we always do when our family gets together.
My niece had brought her guitar to play for Grandma. She had only been playing for a couple of months. After playing the few songs that she knew, my mom played the guitar. Soon we were singing every song we could think of. When my mom grew tired, my uncle took over playing. We have always been a musical family, thanks greatly to my Grandma. She could play the guitar and piano by ear. Music was always around her.
Grandma started singing with us. In fact, she harmonized with us knew the words to some songs better than we did. Grandma loved old country western, so we sang everything from Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, to many old country gospel songs. But the person she requested the most was Kris Kristofferson. We grew up listening to Kris Kristofferson because of her love of him. He really is a great wordsmith and my family can’t get enough of him. I can’t listen to any song by him without thinking of her.
After playing and singing for many hours it was time to leave. I got to tell her that I loved her. It was the last time I saw her. Having that memory of singing for hours with her is something I will cherish forever. It was truly best way to say good-bye.