We lost someone very special yesterday, the last grandparent in our family. Her name was Mary and I want to tell you that she lived a long, healthy life to the age of 96. But decades ago, she’d become a patient advocate. I don’t even know whether that was a word back then. Nevertheless, after surviving breast cancer, she spent years helping other patients to fight and survive.
There are countless ways Granmary is inseparable from me or my life or this blog even although she did not have RA and never read a blog. When I was a young adult, she taught me about cooking, sewing clothes, gardening, and how to paint windows. And other really important things like how to hold a fussy baby, and how to properly visit the sick. She always sent homemade food, extra ice cream, gourmet juice – and breakfast!
You know that “old me” that I miss so much? Granmary was a big part of her.
Granmary could turn any visit into a party. And find the bright side to any situation. She shined the spotlight on others. She thought of every detail; and liked to make things look easy even if she put in a tremendous amount of work to pull them off.
A million memories fill my mind. Lunches at Friendly’s when my girls were babies. Hours on the front porch rocking. Watching Redskins’ games. Shopping for our baby crib. Oyster stew for an impromptu Anti Horse Thief Supper at New Year’s (scroll down to March 20, 1902).
There is joy in seeing my own kids do things I taught them which I learned from Granmary. We’ll carry on doing what she taught us. And what she did, but didn’t talk much about, like helping other patients to fight their battles. We’ll cook her recipes. We’ll send ice cream. Some of us will even learn to like oysters.
Important program note: Last week, I did an interview with Dr. Borenstein, prior president of the American College of Rheumatology for his first broadcast of a new online radio program called Speaking of Health with Dr. B. to be broadcast on Women’s Radio – click this link to listen. My interview was 30 minutes, and I haven’t heard the edited version yet, but there could be another person interviewed before you hear me. I’m told that the program will be the top show on their site tomorrow (Friday) and for the next couple of days. After that, it can be found by searching “Speaking of Health with Dr. B.” If I learn any more, I’ll let you know.
- Perception, Reputation, & Information: How Do We Decide about Dangerous Drugs?
- The Me Before Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Can We Treat the Whole Person or at Least the Whole Disease?
- Three Fortune Cookies: What We Hope the Future Holds