I’m still processing it.
Dad told me tonight (when I called my folks on an unrelated thing). Long story short, Dorothy started having trouble yesterday. Mom and her sister Pat went to see her at her assisted living home, and saw the shape she was in. Hospital help was ruled out; hospice care came over; people did what was needed to make Dorothy comfortable and safe. Both Mom and Aunt Pat were with her at the end, in her room. Mom held Dorothy’s hand.
Dorothy was the last of my four grandparents to pass away. Like the others – Grandpa Bob (her husband), Grandma Jean and Grandpa Irv – she had a long life, and a good life, and was surrounded by people who loved her and looked after her. And who’ll remember her.
I’m glad I spent a lot of time with my grandparents after I moved to Oregon (14 years ago – wow). I often stayed at Dorothy and Bob’s home in NE Portland. Their house was, in fact, where I lived during my first three weeks of life; Mom went to Oregon to have me, so she could be around more family (Dad was on an aircraft carrier until a few days after I was born). And in the ’70s and ’80s before I moved back, I was able to visit them plenty of times: lots of vacations.
You would’ve liked the both of them: usually quiet, usually quietly funny, good with pets and flowers (Dorothy maintained the flowers along the front stairs well into the ’90s). They had reason to be proud of their four daughters (raised in a three-bedroom house with one bathroom, I might add), who are all still around and healthy and in touch. They created a good family.
I love this photo from 2004, when my brother and his family visited Portland. He, Cindy and their boys visited Grandma Dorothy in her bedroom. In the photo, she is staring and grinning at my nephew Robbie, who’s returning the look. They’re both fascinated with each other. There’s a spark. She was good with kids, too. You surprised? One neat thing: some of her caregivers are new parents, and so for the last few months Dorothy got to experience a young one around the house. That brought extra happiness.
We’ll figure out Grandma Dorothy’s memorial later. We, of course, won’t do it without her youngest daughter, my Aunt Nancy Weare, who lives in Guam. So we’ll do it when she can get from her side of the world to here.
In the meantime: Grandma, I love you, and I miss you.