Remember my tribute to my great grandmother?
About two weeks ago, she had a stroke. She's had very minor strokes before, so I didn't get too concerned from my mom's email. But her 4th stroke at the age of 101 had a pretty severe effect. She required almost round the clock care for a few days, but many of us assumed she would bounce back as she had dozens of times after hitting a rough patch.
But at 6:30 am last Thursday I received the phone call that she was taken home into the arms of her heavenly Father.
E and I were able to get on a standby flight that very afternoon and arrived back home in Chicago where we stayed until Sunday. My sister, who was planning to visit us this past weekend was able to transfer her flight to later this spring.
We had a wonderful and exhausting weekend reconnecting with many family members, sharing stories, laughs, memories and love. To know my grandma was to love her, and she knew many people!
So, in celebration of her life, I'm going to post, out of recap order, one of my last memories of my dear great grandmother.
After getting ready at what I considered "home" for the last time, all the girls and I piled into my family's 12 passenger van (it's all about the sports in my family!), and headed 3 miles down the road to the retirement home where my great grandmother has lived for about 8 of the past 11 years.
I say retirement home, not nursing home, just to clarify that she wasn't bedridden (at this point) wasn't hooked up to tubes, or [completely] confined to a wheelchair at almost 101. She lived in a room on her own with minimal help for daily tasks and scooted around every where she needed to go in her wheelchair when her legs couldn't support her any more.
On the morning of my wedding day, as we approached the entrance with a mason jar filled with a few of the extra flowers from our DIY flowers the day before.
(photo by a friend)
She was waiting for us in the downstairs lobby, with an expression I'll treasure forever: pure excitement.
Lots of kisses
(photo by a friend)
and I love yous
a little bit of chatting
and a spin
Then we posed
(my mama, photo by little sis)
after one last kiss, we headed back to the van so we could get to our first look.
I had created a blurb photo album for her with these photos as well as some family photos after my mom emailed me about her down turn. Unfortunately, she never got to enjoy the pictrues, as the album arrived at my parents on the day of her funeral.
But I'm so glad I have these moments captured on film as well as many memories in my heart!
*all photos, unless otherwise noted, were taken by the fabulous, Little Hands Photography*