My Grandma R. passed away yesterday afternoon at the age of almost 92. Her health had been failing for two months, during which she wasn't very responsive, so the sad event is tempered by relief that she didn't linger in twilight for months and months. She was my last living grandparent.
Grandma R. was a great lady. She was tough as nails but had a great sense of humor. She was a farmer's wife--not an easy thing to be--but she managed all the hard work and never complained. Having lived through the Great Depression, she knew what really tough times were.
On a couple different occasions as a child, I spent part of my summer vacation with her and grandpa on their North Dakota farm. They had a little gray pony named Sparky, so these visits were pretty awesome. Grandma R. was an excellent cook, and always served up a huge farmer's "dinner" at lunchtime, consisting of wonderful stuff like fried chicken, creamed peas with real cream, lefse, and strawberry-rhubarb pie. It's a good thing I had a fast metabolism as a child.
I'm off to North Dakota on Wednesday for the funeral on Friday. North Dakota in late June is absolutely gorgeous, and I'm looking forward to seeing family members I haven't seen in years. Funerals are for the living, so they say.