Thursday, October 15, 2009

She's Gone to a Better Place

Gang, my son Tom and I

Yesterday (Wednesday) at about 3:30 p.m. my grandmother left us. My aunt and cousin were by her side and said it was so gentle and peaceful a passing. She smiled, let out a breath and gently went to join her husband, who she said was waiting at her beside for days. She commented that he looked more handsome than ever. They were married nearly sixty years and in all that time I saw them argue twice.

Clara Virginia Wolfe Cosgrave July 15, 1912-Oct. 14, 1009

5 yrs ago (I have lost weight since this photo)

When I think of my grandmother (my older brother didn't say grandmother and he nicknamed her "Gang" which stuck for all nine of her grandchildren), I think of two words: unconditional love. There is nothing else more that a child needs than unconditonal love. My father was in the Navy and he traveled a lot. Many of my younger years were lived in her house, which by today's standards would be considered a cottage. It had two bedrooms. They bought the house brand new. At one point they put a small addition on it changing the kitchen to a dining room and adding on another kitchen, which was over the garage. The tiny lot had a steep hill and the yard was fenced in to keep us safe. My grandfather was a police sergeant. He was one of the first motorcyle police on the white Harleys for Montgomery County, Maryland. At that time, policemen didn't make a lot of money but whatever they had was shared and stretched and all were welcome in their home. There were eight children in my grandmother's family and often for Christmas she would prepare a huge meal and they would wander in throughout the day. She was a wonderful cook and no matter what she had, it was turned into something delicious. Gang was so proud of her two daughters which were twelve years apart in age. When we lived there at one point, my brother and I slept in the dining room and my Aunt Judy was a teenager. How I idolized her and her records. She was a huge Elvis fan. I have only wonderful memories associated with my grandparents and their home.

My grandmother lived to be 97 years old. That is a full life and she had a wonderful life. She was able to remain in her home until the very end, a promise made and kept by my Aunt Judy. It was a huge sacrifice for her but she made it.

The final plans haven't been made but we will be going to a funeral service and burial only in Frederick. All Gang's family is buried there and she will be laid to rest under a double heart headstone with her Les.

I feel so very blessed to have had her for each and every day of my life. I was born one week early of her 42nd birthday and I was her first granddaughter. She said that was the best birthday present she ever got. Gang was there for me when I came home from the hospital after my spleen was removed, was there for some of my radiation treatments, was there to celebrate my son's birth, was there to encourage my son with his chemo treatments and was there when I had my open heart surgery. There was not a time I needed her that she was not there. Of all the grandmothers I might have had, she was the perfect one for me. No matter how much I grieve her loss, it will never diminish what she left me.

I am a better person for having been a part of her life. Isn't that a wonderful legacy?

1 comment:

Missie said...

Nelle, I'm so sorry for your loss! Keeping you're family in my prayers.