Saturday, May 07, 2005

Alice Marie Kempe Bowers Will

I wrote yesterday about my grandma's passing. I love her very much and I do miss her terribly already. I spent much of yesterday in a sad state, crying at times I did not think I would. That is to be expected.

But I was prepared for Grandma dying. She had been ill for a bit of time before it happened and had been moved from the hospital to a nursing home. There are some ill feelings in the family about the nursing home (lack of care) but also we all knew that Grandma did not want to be there. I am sure that she decided it was her time to go and she did not want to be in the home any longer. She had been praying the night before when my aunt, Lollie, was there, asking God to take her to Him.

The fact that Grandma was in pain for the last month of her life and the fact that she was ready to go makes it easier to deal. She had a wonderful 90 years before the last month and that is what I am choosing to hold onto. The life was filled with love and happiness. Even in hard times, she always found a way to smile, something could always cheer her up.

I was very sad yesterday and cried a lot. My eyes burned from all the tears.

When I awoke today, I had a new decision. Instead of mourning her passing and her decision to leave, I want to celebrate her life. She earned it and she deserves smiles to be passed on in her name. She loved happiness and hated people who were sad and I will celebrate her.

In my teenage years, I became quite interesting in genealogy and was fortunate enough to start collecting stories at a young age. I interviewed many of the family members, my grandma being one of them. Her sisters gave me stories and I documented them all. I have to get a disc out of storage and scan some more pictures, but I do intend on sharing the stories about my grandma here. It makes me feel better and the stories are uplifting. I am also a bit of a pack-rat and I think I have most of the letters Grandma ever sent me. Once I have gathered them, I will create a scrapbook of her. In memory of her.

There will be no immediate funeral. She lived in Arizona and will be buried (after cremation) in Maysville, Wisconsin. Her tombstone will be finished and she will be laid to rest next to her first husband, my biological grandfather. Their plot is next to the plot of my grandfather, her second husband, and his first wife. This will happen sometime this summer and there will be plenty of notice so those in the family who wish to go can take off time from work. We did this when my grandpa passed away. It was the last time the family got together.

My grandma was a devout Lutheran in her life and had a wonderful outlook on the world. Her humanity shone through in all her actions and I admire her. I always will. My mom said something about her yesterday that resonated with me. Mom said, "If the Lutherans had a Pope, and it could be a woman, she would have been in the running." And it is very true.

Grandma had a fantastic life and that makes her passing much easier to deal with. I am taking some time off from work to mourn her and also to get things in order to celebrate her.