My Beloved Maternal Grandmother —- Thursday, May 23, 2019

My brother and I were most blessed to live ‘just up the orchard’ from our maternal grandparents, Bill and Ruth/ Granddad, and Grammy.

Our paternal grandmother just lived a mile up the road from us in the little village/town called Eckert.

But today, this is a story about my sweet, kind, gentle grandmother, Ruth Love (Wootton) Thomas.

She was a fantastic southern cook, loved to tell us stories, was a teacher of education to children in the First through Third grades and at one point the postmistress of their little town in New Mexico.

My brother and I could spend as much time as we wanted at their house, as long as we walked (we ran, just say’n) through the orchard and let Mom know we were going and then let Gram know when we were heading back home.

Life was simple then.

Over time, after Granddad passed on; Grammy’s mind deteriorated into a form of dementia, of which we never really learned the medical name.

It was hard and sad to see her become a totally different person than who she had been — she became suspicious, fanciful, full of anger and delusional.

One afternoon, when I was visiting with her, she told me that she had now become the Velveteen Rabbit. It was a very sad and poignant moment.  It broke my heart.  My heart broke even more when she reached over and patted me on the knee.

“No matter what,” she said with a sly little smile, “I am still real.”  I held her hand and agreed.

For some reason, she has been weighing heavy on my mind– these last few days.

I can see her as she was when I was a child, who she was when I had my children, and then what the horrible disease, which turned her into a whole other person, just before she died.

Then last night I dreamed I was her the day she stepped out the shell of her body and went to the other side.

I dreamed Granddad/ Will was there, waiting to give me (Grammy) a gentle tug on my hand to lift me up to him.

He made my heart sing, Will always made my heart sing.

I turned to Will…. “It’s been hard, Dear One,” I told him. “I had a highly functioning brain then the rug was pulled out from me.  The fall has been long and terrifying.”

“I know, My Sweet Thing, I know.” He smiled. “Here take my hand”, he offered.

So I did.

Ruth Love Wotton Thomas

June 1, 1902—March 22, 1999




23 thoughts on “My Beloved Maternal Grandmother —- Thursday, May 23, 2019

  1. Wonderful story—-we wonder why anyone who lives a full life can deteriorate so but we are always told not to question God’s decisions—but we do anyway. ‘Taint fair we say! Thankfully you have beautiful memories


  2. My paternal GM passed in Aug. 2000, just shy of her 74 b-day. She had had heart trouble for most of her life and had been a heavy smoker. Open-heart surgery gave her a little more time but, ultimately, she bled to death…all over, literally. She maintained who she was the entire time and, when she went, it was like a fade to black with little pain.

    You’ve read my comments regarding my maternal GM. She maintained who she was until the end but, had had a stroke and couldn’t speak the last two years of her life. She, too, had had open-heart surgery but, she was 11 years older than my paternal GM and, outlived her by nearly seven years. They were both strong women and like Mutt & Jeff. The former was 5′ 3″…the latter, 5′ 10′.

    My mat.GM tended to her sister-in-law when she came down with Alzheimer’s and tended to my GF when he (we think) developed Dementia. She was absolutely horrified and heartbroken.

    That was a grand dream. Thank you for sharing that.


  3. She sounds like a wonderful woman until the dementia…perhaps she knew it was coming. It is really hard for family to see them fade away and be “gone” before they are physically gone. Thank goodness for your beautiful memories:)


  4. I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother but even more about the loss of her capacity to understand what was happening. It makes it so hard. Your dream seemed to let you know she was safe. That was quite some dream.


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