"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Heavy Heart

I knew this post was coming but it doesn't make it any easier --  my grandmother died this morning due to complications of Alzheimer's.

Ruth Pirtle became my grandmother when I was in elementary school.
She and my grandfather were high school sweethearts.  They went on to marry other people, live in different places, and have children of their own.  Later in life after their spouses died, they somehow reconnected and made a life filled with large portions of love, family, and faith.

From the moment she met me, Mema adopted me as her own.  I was very connected to my recently-diseased grandmother, and Mema, or "Miss Ruth" as I called her for many years, never tried to replace her in my heart.  I had a big, open heart and plenty of room for another wonderful woman in it, though.

Mema taught me about living with a humble work ethic and a cheerful heart.  She would prepare large feasts for her massive family until she was physically unable.
She worked for years in service as a nurse, one of the most thankless jobs in creation.
She believed in having a sense of humor about and taking pride in her work, her home, her life, no matter how modest or grande -- if only we could all thankful for our gifts.
A lot of who I want to be as a woman, a mother, is directly tied to her loving influence.

My grandmother may have died but she will live on in Heaven and in many, many hearts.


Alesia said...

Cayce: Take comfort in knowing that today she is in paradise and is whole again! Life is short, no matter how long or short... we need to embrace it with gusto and live each day as if it our last. Sad day for me yesterday, as a classmate, good friend and former co-worker, Patti Hayes Moore passed away two weeks before her fifty fifth birthday very suddendly and unexpectantly. A stark reminder that each heartbeat could be our last. I will lift your family in prayer as you face these next few days. Love you.

Jana said...

I am so sorry for you families loss, Cayce. It sounds like she was a wonderful woman and all who knew her were truly lucky. I will be thinking and praying for your family. Please pass my condolences on to your family.
My Nanny is "dating" her childhood sweetheart. After her and my grandfather divorced, they found there was back to one another. They have been back together for years. It is nice to see true love!!

Daddy said...

We have been truly Blessed to have the strong Christian women we have had in our lives. GG, Miss Ruth, Your Mother, Aunt Peggy, MiMi. Many people do not have anyone to look to, but we have many. We will always remember Ruth when we laugh. She had a wonderful sense of humor. We will miss Miss Ruth, but our lives are better for having known her. Love you!