This has been on my mind much of late, with my Mom’s illness, and I’ve really been thinking of my Grandmother (Mom’s mother), who passed away 35 years ago on March 3, 1968. I was the first grandchild, so my Grandmammy (yes, that’s what I called her, and it stuck; all the other grandkids called her that) was still fairly young, only 44 when I was born. My parents were struggling those first few years, and I spent a good part of the time at my grandparents. Naturally, my grandmother spoiled me completely! When I was nearly 8, my father had a chance to take the family to England for the summer; however, I did not want to go–I wanted to spend the summer with my grandparents. A battle of wills was engaged, and … well, I ended up spending that summer with my grandparents. I was only 15 when she passed away, and the cancer took her rather suddenly; I never got a chance to see her after she went into the hospital, and she died two weeks later. I have missed her so much over the years, and now I’m afraid I’m going to lose my Mom too, probably from the same cancer.
I miss my other grandparents as well, though I never knew them as well as my mother’s parents. My Granddaddy made it to 80, passing away in 1987 just weeks after my son was born. My father’s parents passed away in 1961 (grandfather) and 1966 (grandmother).
I also think many times of my two cousins, both of whom were born with muscular dystrophy, and both of whom passed away when they were 6-7 years old. The older boy, Jimmy, I always felt close to, even though he was 8 years younger than I. I spent many hours playing cowboys and indians with him! A few weeks before he passed away, my cousins had visited our family at our house, and I had a bad cold. I remember thinking when he died that I may have passed the cold on to him; with MD, at least back in the 60s, a cold would progress rapidly to pneumonia, which is what killed him–he didn’t have the muscles to be able to cough up phlegm. After Jimmy passed away, my Aunt and Uncle decided to have another baby, even though they knew the chances were 1 in 4 that they may have another with MD, and when their youngest son, Eric, was born in 1967, he had it too. I cannot imagine the anguish and pain they went through, to lose two children to MD. God bless Jerry Lewis, because he has done so much to help with funding research into this disease.
thanks for giving me a chance to talk about those closest to me that I miss.