Today I was thinking about my Grandmother. I called her Ma. That was short and sweet... Ma. Doesn't take much effort to say it. Ma.
My Ma was a little woman barely over 5' after she got old and got all slumped over. My Pa was about 6'4" and those two looked like Mutt and Jeff together.
He'd seen her at a dance, her auburn hair catching his eye and he vowed he'd marry her. Only problem, he'd have to wait until he became of age. He was a tad younger than she. So, she waited and he became old enough to have a wife and they got married and started a family. My Mother was one of those children.
Pa was my favorite but I have fond memories of my Ma, too. I am the age right now that she was when she became a widow. Hard to imagine. She was always quiet, in the background, her oldest daughter even had charge of the household so Ma piddled in the garden, gathered eggs in her apron to bring into the house and she was the best and fastest blackberry picker for counties around.
Ma was a widow at 78, like I say, my age. I was 14 when my Pa died and then later on I married and moved away. I didn't spend much time with her until much later. By then she was sitting by the window watching the world go by, never complaining (oh, lordy I could take a lesson or two from her).
I know she missed her husband so much but she never talked about it. It was held inside her, letting her grief mold her into the woman that I remember.
Elbert and I moved back near Ma in 1969. She'd been a widow for 20 years at that time. She was 98 years old, still fairly sharp, hard of hearing but what I keep in the back of my head is her ability to just 'go on with life'. She was tough, she was strong, and she lived until she was over 100. I can't imagine being without my Elbert for 22 years like she was without Pa that long.
I was standing by her bedside when she passed. It was peaceful, easy, she was ready to go be with her Lord and Robert, her husband long gone. Her life inspires me beyond measure. She'd lost children, her husband, her hearing and yet she moved through life one day at a time. I hope I can do the same.