Thursday, May 30, 2013

Saying Good Bye to Grandma Marci

On Monday night at around 9:15, my mom called to tell me Grandma Marci had fallen in her apartment. When they got to UNMC, they found out that she had fallen because she was having a heart attack. She had like a 90+% blockage and was not expected to make it through the night.
I rushed into the hospital to see her. When I arrived in her room on the 7th floor, Grandma told me, "I had a bad day," and continued to mutter something about seeing a picture of the kids today and her face lit up. She spent that first part of Monday night into Tuesday morning in pain. Grandma no longer wanted to fight and asked for no treatment for her heart. She was given Morphine twice, which made her sick. I asked if she had an Ativan order (for anxiety) because she was so anxious due to the overwhelming pain, "I don't know what I'm going to do." I was so sad to watch. Grandma had taken Ativan in the past without the side effect of getting nauseated. Once she received it, she calmed and was asleep. I went home at 1:30 AM leaving my Mom and Aunt Marsha with Grandma. I had worked Sunday night and slept maybe 4 hours Monday, so I was a wreck.
By Tuesday morning, I called my Mom and Grandma was still asleep and had not work up since I left. The kids and I kept busy in the morning and then went to visit Grandma around noon. I was not sure the rules on if the kids could see her or even if I should allow them to see her in such a state. So, they waited in the waiting room with Marsha. My mom had left to go take a nap at Grandma's apartment. We left at 1:30.
By 2:30, Grandma was gone. We drove back to the hospital to be with my family.
My Grandma will be laid to eternal rest in Shelby, Iowa on Friday morning. I wrote a eulogy for my Grandma with input from my family, too. I am not sure how I will ever get through it, but I am going to try. I miss my Grandma Marci, but she will forever be in my heart.

My Eulogy to Grandma Marci

I am Krista Austin, the daughter of Bette and Derald, and the youngest of Grandma Marci’s grandchildren. It has not been easy to put together something to say about Grandma, as I can never do justice for all the things she accomplished during her 100 years. We are all grieving for a very special lady, mother, grandmother, and friend.
There are so many things I will remember about Grandma Marci. Grandma always knew she was one of a kind. Growing up, she was Grandma Jones to me. As time passed, she became Marcella Jones. She even called me once and said this is Marcella Jones. I was like, Grandma, you are just Grandma to me! More recently, she went by Marci Jones. She was always a bit of a princess.
Grandma always had an amazing sense of style and kept up with the latest fashion trends. I recall on several occasions she would arrive in her leather pants and a zebra or leopard print blouse. She dressed like she was 20, okay, maybe 30 tops. Grandma never saw herself as old, and we loved that about her. She always accessorized with many bracelets, necklaces and earrings. I remember waiting in her bedroom on Happy Hollow while she primped. She had all of these mirrors, fancy make up, and always had her nails done. Oh, and her hair. As a beautician, she knew just how she liked her hair. Though, I’m not sure she ever found anyone to style her hair just so for her. She was always so glam. Her friend Marilyn Manning made an unexpected visit to Grandma and found Grandma dressed to the nines. Grandma said she always dressed like that now. Why save clothes in the closet when you are 100, right? Grandma was an inspiration for aging in style and grace.
Grandma was always photo ready. If you get a chance, check out some of the pictures we turned up of Grandma. She would get her lip stick on and be ready with her beautiful smile. She always looked radiant!
Every family member would probably say they remember Grandma’s noodles. As my cousin Dave would say, “If you don’t know what I’m talking about that’s your loss.” But, I think Dave has the recipe.
Grandma always had our backs. Dave recalls when he and Wade were 5 or 7 years old, they refused to eat their vegetables at dinner. Somehow they talked Marsha into calling Grandma who convinced Marsha to just let the boys skip their vegetables for one night. What a grandma!
On one of Grandma and Grandpa George’s last trips to the lake, Grandma told us how she came to a bridge and was about to meet a truck. She was certain she was going to hit either the bridge or the truck, so she closed her eyes! Wow, I’m glad she did not give me driving lessons! We are lucky, her, the truck and the bridge all came out unharmed. Grandma renewed her driver’s license when she was 93 and it was good for 5 more years. She stopped driving when she was maybe 95. My Dad was the only one that ever told Grandma how nice her Cadillac was. So, on her 98th Birthday, she gifted my Dad her car. What an amazing gift that he continues to drive and remember Grandma, although he took the spinner off of the steering wheel. My Dad gave her a bad time after that telling her he had high expectations for the gifts he would get from her on her future birthdays. Grandma had planned on painting my Dad a picture of the airplane he had built. In the ER on Monday night, Grandma told my Dad how sorry she was that she was not going to be able to paint a picture of his airplane for him.
Speaking of birthdays, we helped Grandma turn 100 years old last July by taking her out to eat. As the waiter chatted with us, amazed that she was 100 years old, he asked her what her secret was. Grandma said something like, “Just clean living.” Yeah, clean living and a little Vodka. I guess Grandma had her fun in her day, too! Oh, and she then flirted with the waiter.
Grandma always had a green thumb. She had a backyard full of flowers in Happy Hollow, flowers all around their home at the Lake, and her apartment now is filled with over 67 plants that she continued to tend to! She was in fabulous health, too, only having one surgery her entire life and that was to have knee replacement. That is amazing! In more recent years, she really watched what she ate, trying to eat healthy taking a liking to walnuts, blueberries and pineapple. Now I know where I get my healthy eating habits from.
As many of you know, Grandma was very strong willed. She had to do things her way. Live her life her way, where she wanted to live it, and how she wanted to live it. Grandma was sharp as a tack and remembered about everything other than if she took her pills. She lived independently with the help of 2 loyal helpers, Rose Brown and Judy Cortess, and my mom and Marsha. There were many times that my Mom questioned her on her ability to live alone, but Grandma would not have it any other way. I believe she willed herself to pull through sickness, aches and pains, so that she could continue to live in her apartment overlooking Omaha’s beautiful city skyline.
As Wade and Allison and then Chris and I started having kids giving Grandma Great Grandkids, grandma was thrilled being surrounded by all her great grandkids. She loved watching the kids open presents, show her things, and run around making noise. The smile of her face was priceless. On Easter, Grandma rode the golf cart so she could watch the kids collect the Easter eggs. My son Asher and I would visit her in her apartment. She could hear Asher’s voice but could no longer hear the pitch of my voice, so Asher interpreted. During our April visit, Asher brought her flowers. She started to cry and gave him a big hug. She then told me to make sure that her Great Grandchildren know how much she loves them when she is gone. She always gave Asher a little something she had around her apartment when we left. Last time she gave Asher a birdhouse. He was so excited…we made her day and she made ours. When I saw her on Monday night, she told me that she had a bad day. And then her face lit up, despite her pain, as she said she saw a picture of the kids earlier in the day. She loved us all so much. I feel so lucky to have been able share my wonderful Grandma with my kids.
I never thought about not having my Grandma. I mean, I have only known my life with her in it. She was 100, so why couldn’t she live to 110? She was such a smart woman, trading stocks until the last few years, learning to draw and paint, and always looking for and enjoying the positive things in life.
In Grandma Marci’s 100 years, she was a wife, mother, friend, beautician, artist, interior designer, Grandmother, and so much more to all of us. We all have so many wonderful memories of Grandma Marci, memories that we will forever keep in our hearts and minds.
I will end with a poem I found titled, “God Saw You Getting Tired.”
God saw you getting tired and a cure was not to be so he put his arms around you and whispered, "Come to Me"
With tearful eyes we watched you and saw you pass away and although we love you dearly we could not make you stay.
A Golden heart stopped beating hard working hands at rest. God broke our hearts to prove to us He only takes the best

Grandma, we love and miss you!


Courtney F said...

Krista, this is absolutely beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss. Your grandma was a such a special woman, and I lift you and your family up in prayer. Take care

The Austin Life said...

Thank you Courtney.