My Grandma, Helen Diamond, has passed away. It happened on February 12, 2008 at around 7:30pm. My Mom was there and she called me about two hours after it happened.
It was a very sad day. This is the closest person I have lost ever. I am still having a hard time believing that she is gone.
Last year it was found that she had cancer. They performed an operation later last year and removed a large mass. Things were looking better until the news came after Christmas that the cancer had returned and that it was too spread out through the organs to defeat with any treatment. Grandma accepted this and decided not to perform any more tests or treatments. Instead, she would stay at home for as long as she could with the help of family.
Surprisingly, things progressed very quickly and by this last Tuesday she could not hold on any more. Over the last few weeks things were obviously getting worse and it is fortunate that she got her wish to stay home till the very end.
The hardest things to accept is that someone that was always there is not there anymore. She meant so much to all the grandkids. She spoiled us rotten and always had the time to talk. Grandma could often be spotted at the dining room table with a cup of coffee either chatting with visitors or listening to the radio. I remember that Grandma and Grandpa used to listen to Paul Harvey around lunch time. The dining room table was covered in a thin sheet of plastic so that any spills could be stopped. A pot of coffee was always nearby.
Grandma would cook so much food for the family. My weakness was cookies and Grandma would always be sure to cook lots before I showed up. She would fill the glass canisters and then proceed to fill containers in the freezer. I would eat them as fast as I could and this was pretty fast as a teenager. One time I must have eaten around 50 cookies in the period of an hour or two. She would always just wander off and bring back some more from the freezer. Or, she would start a new batch. She was famous for many different types of cookies but one of my favourites was the thin oatmeal cookies. Oh, they were so good. She must have appreciated having a grandchild that loved her cooking so much.
Grandma was very active in the community. She was always doing things related to church. I remember being in women’s groups like Topps and others as well. She loved talking on the phone and knew much of what was going on in Kittson county. A local newspaper would call to see what the Humboldt news was. One time she told them about Debra and I were coming to visit for the summer and the paper actually printed this. I was surprised but apparently having visitors was fairly big news at the time.
There are so many memories of Grandma based on us spending so much time in Minnesota when we were growing up. We used to spend heaps of time camping at Lake Bronson. If I remember correctly, we started with a tent and then later graduated to a caravan(camper). Grandma loved taking trips out to the lake. Sometimes Grandpa would have time to join her.
Grandma and Grandpa used to love the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The would watch it until they fell asleep. I always didn’t know whether to wake them up or just let them sleep there. Even when they went to bed they would watch TV until they fell asleep.
They had a sunroom built as an extension to the house. The room had a clear ceiling so that it would let in the sunlight. This is perfect for a winter’s day when you want the sun but not the cold. In the later years, Grandma would spend time here.
Grandma was 85 when she passed away. She has many family and friends that are going to miss her. She lived long enough to see many grandchildren get married and have children of their own. The oldest great-grandchild is now a teenager.
There are so many things I’m going to miss about Grandma. I just remembered how she used to insist on giving great big grandma hugs. As a kid I would sometimes find this unusual. Now, I just wish she wasn’t gone and could give another hug.
The hardest thing is that our relationship is over. Its an ending I never wanted.
However, being over for her means that she does not have cancer any more. It also means that she does not have to suffer any longer. She has moved on. She now has peace. I can respect that.