Friday, May 15, 2009

Grandma Mary

Grandma with little K and Little M

My sweet Grandmother lost her battle with lung cancer on April 25, 2009, 6 months after her diagnosis she was 84. She was a wonderful woman. We were all shocked, to hear she had lung cancer. She was never a smoker, and always very good care of herself.

I miss her more than I could have imagined I would. I've actually even picked up the phone to call her and realized I couldn't. I keep coming up with things I wish I could ask her. Normally I could just call.

Watching someone you love die is such a helpless feeling. I think it's normal for people to want to help those who are hurting. When you can't, it's frustrating. There are so many things I want to say about her and this but don't know how to get it all out. I'm angry this happened to her. At the same time, I'm thankful to God for freeing her from her pain.

I think that she was a lady in every sense of the word. She always did the right thing. She was always sweet and welcoming. She loved her family. She was a beautiful person, genuinely good person.

She was a lucky woman. Her children took great care of her as she went through this horrible illness. I watched my father selflessly care for her. From the beginning he was there several times a week, taking her to her Dr. Appointments, helping her with her shopping, brining her dinners, meeting with her hospice nurse and all around caring for her. It was a wonderful thing to see a man sweetly caring for his mother. As she grew sicker he was there everyday right until the last day. I gained a new respect for him and was especially proud of him. My aunt was there 24-7 in the ending months to help with the things sons just shouldn't. All the while they were respectful of her and did as much as they could to help her keep her dignity. All of her children took care to make sure they let her make her decisions they respected her wishes. Im sure this was hard for them at times. She was a very independent woman and didn't like being cared for. But, they did it. They didn't complain, even though it was difficult. They all came together and took care of their mother. You could see at this moment the kind of children she raised.

I'm hoping this pain eases someday. I know my pain may not be as great as some others, but it's still pain. I've cried every day since she passed. I know I shouldn't, she is better now. I cry for my own selfish reasons. I wish we could have her still. And I'm sad my youngest girls will not remember her.

I was especially moved by the compassion and empathy my daughters showed during this time. This is their first memorable experience with a death in the family. They also are taking it harder than I expected. They are children and they love with all of their hearts. They showed deep concern and a desire to be there with Grandma during this journey in her life. I hope the love and caring they witnessed Grandmas kids give her will stay in their memories. This was an amazing example of how families should care for one another.

There is just so much I want to say about her, but I would be typing forever. I can't even begin to touch on how wonderful she was. I love my Grandma, and I can't wait to see her again.

This is the passage from the memory cards at her funeral

God's Garden

God looked around his garden And He found an empty place.
He looked down upon the earth, And saw your tired face.
He put His arms around you, And lifted you to rest.
God's garden must be beautiful, He always takes the best.
He knew that you were suffering, He knew you were in pain,
He knew that you would never Get well on earth again.
So He closed your weary eyelids, And whispered"Peace be thine."
It broke our hearts to lose you. But you didn't go alone,
For part of us went with you, The day God called you home.

My Dad, Cousins and Uncle carried Grandma
Here is where her body was placed, but her spirit has gone on

The Men

Sweet Great-Granddaughters

K dropping her rose

Her Obituary:

Mary O. (Hopper) Siebels Resident of San Lorenzo Entered peacefully into rest at her San Lorenzo home on April 25, 2009. She was 84 years old. Born in Oklahoma, Mary was a retired key punch supervisor for Alameda County. She was a Rosie the Riveter during WWII working for Douglas Aircraft and, in 1945, joined a carpool to move to the Bay Area from Oklahoma. Mary was a talented knitter, enjoyed tending her orchids and was an avid Oakland A's fan, able to give detailed stats on each of the players. Above all, Mary enjoyed raising her children, caring for her family and spending time with her loved ones, especially her morning coffee group at Winchell's in San Lorenzo. She was treasured by all who knew her and will be deeply missed. Mary is survived by her devoted children and their spouses, Barbara & Alton Chappell of Lyman, Utah, Betty & Paul Mikels of Fortuna, Ca, Carol Eckloff of Fremont and Jack & Lynn Hopper of Newark; brother, Bill Price of Oklahoma City; step daughters, Ann & Janie, 21 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren, many loving extended family and cherished friends. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 23 years, Edward R. Hopper in 1970 and her loving husband of 21 years, Ted Siebels in 1992. Visitation for Mary will be 11 am to 1 pm on Friday at Grissom's Chapel & Mortuary, 267 E. Lewelling Blvd., San Lorenzo. Graveside services will follow at Chapel of the Chimes Cemetery in Hayward. In lieu of flowers, donations to the American Cancer Society or Kaiser Hospice Program are preferred. Grissoms Chapel 510-278-2800


Mindy said...

The poem you picked for your Grandmother is lovely. My grandmother was a wonderful woman, and despite being dragged across the world, I ended up living about five miles from her childhood home.

She similarly passed away of colon cancer, and I understand what you mean by the sadness to see her go to the Lord, but being relieved that she is no longer suffering.

May God bless her and your family, and may her shining memory be retained for your daughters and the generations after them.


Mindy said...

And bless those that are involved in hospice care. It must be a truly difficult job, yet they remain so kind and caring, always.

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