Thursday, October 16, 2014

Our last Grandparent...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

I know it's been a while, and I apologize! To those of you that faithfully checked for fresh blogs, only to be disappointed, I want to thank you for your diligence and loyalty. 

Time just got away from me, hard to believe it's been well over a month since I've published.

Mama Bear's Grandmother passed away at the end of Sept., just a month away from her 97th. Birthday. Matriarch of my wife's side she's survived by 3 of her 5 children, 10 Grandchildren, 19 Great Grandchildren, and 10 Great, Great Grandchildren.

In the vernacular of her day she was a "Tough old Broad"!
A woman that spoke her mind in a time when such a thing was simply not done. 

I met her 28 years ago, while dating Mama bear. I was invited to Christmas dinner with her Mother's side of the family, at Grandma's house.

When introduced she gave me the slow once over, betraying nothing. I could tell immediately, this was a woman that brooked no nonsense. I was at my most charming, still I didn't feel I was making any points....until dessert.

I had found a recipe for Peaches and cream cheese pie in a magazine while waiting to pick up a load of candy from the Lifesavers plant in Grand Rapids. I had to make a couple changes to use ingredients local grocery stores carried, but whipped one up to try. I've always cooked. From a young age I've been more than able to feed myself...

Well, Grandma had a slice...then another. Finally pronouncing that I would be "expected to bring one every year, or not bother coming."

I knew I was in!

Years went by, Mama Bear and I lived close to Grandma...and while she lived alone my wife would call her almost daily from work to check on her.

One night when Grandma was well into her 70's she called us about 9:30-10:00 at night and asked if we could come over. She said she had fallen and cut herself and thought she might need to go to the hospital, but didn't elaborate.

Needless to say we made it there in record time.

She had told us the door was open and to just come in when we got there.

We walked in and stopped dead.

It looked like a murder scene!
Grandma's living room was cream colored carpeting, white leather furniture, cream drapes and white sheers...and blood, LOTS of blood!!!

There was a quasi modern white leather glider and footstool to the left as you came into the room, a rather large pool of blood before it. Bloody hand prints on the footstool and couch where she had levered herself up. The white princess style corded phone had a perfect bloody hand-print from where she had called us. A blood trail led across the carpet from the phone towards the kitchen, smears on the linoleum where she had stepped in, and slid on it.

We called out to her, and she said "In the kitchen..."
As we made our way, avoiding the blood and rounded the corner there she stood, bent over the sink bloody towel held to the rear of her head. The kitchen looked little better as she had smeared blood on the counter-tops, on the drawer handles, and bloody hand-prints on the refrigerator.  

She explained that she had gotten up too quickly from her glider/rocker, gotten dizzy and went over backwards striking her head on the metal frame of the glider. She had laid there a minute disoriented, then touched the back of her head which had been bloody. Once she got turned over and saw how profusely she was bleeding she called us, got herself up and into the kitchen where she grabbed a towel and filled it with ice and applied it to her scalp while leaning over the sink to try and slow the bleeding.

We got another towel and got her to sit down so I could take a look at the wound. She had a good 11/2" gash that gaped open and was still leaking at a pretty good rate. I took the new towel, putting pressure on the wound I was almost able to get it to stop bleeding after a few minutes.
"Yep need stitches." I told her.
"Well CRAP!" she replied.
"Come on, we'll take you..."
She got up and started for her bedroom...
"Grandma where are you going?" I asked
"I'm going to change my clothes!" She was wearing a shirt and sweater.
"Grandma, pulling the sweater off over your head might get it bleeding harder again, I think we should just go in what you're wearing..."
She looked about to argue with me so I added.
"Besides, once they see all that blood, you'll go right to the front of the line."
She "Harrumphed" at me but didn't complain.

Once we walked into the Emergency room, just as I predicted orderlies scampered to get her a wheelchair, they rushed her through the triage, and put her in a room to await a Doctor.
When the Doctor came in, he took one look at Grandma and said 
"Oh My, what happened here?"
"This ONE," Grandma replied jerking a thumb in my direction.
"wouldn't let me change!!!"
"No, no...I meant how did you hurt yourself? You DID hurt yourself didn't you?" Giving her a significant look.
"Oh, " she said waving his concern away "Stood up, got dizzy, fell down...called my Granddaughter and her husband...who wouldn't let me change, and they brought me here."
"Well, it got you to the front of the line..." He told her.
She just glared at me, daring an "I told you so..."

Wisely, I declined....
R.I.P. Grandma
You are loved and missed.

Be Well Folks,

Beastly Bear


  1. My mom was like that, didn't want to trouble anyone, and always concerned about how they looked. What a fabulous generation! Sorry for your loss.

    Glad to see you back, thought maybe you ran out of stories. I bet you have a few more good ones involving Grandma.

    1. Thanks Joeh! No, always have stories....not all appropriate, but always stories!
      And yes, plenty of Grandma!
      Good to be back!

  2. I bet you guys were horrified to find all that blood! How scary! I am glad she was OK, but I am wondering how in the world she got all that blood out of all that white carpet and white furniture!! She sounds like a great lady and I loved reading this story about her. I have missed your tales and hope this marks a definite return and we will be hearing more in the near future. So sorry for your loss my friend!

    1. Yes Kathy, Mama Bear and I exchanged looks like "Are we gonna find her alive?"
      There was just sooo much blood!
      Thank you for your condolences, I'll pass them along.

    2. P.S.
      I believe she had to get a professional service, like a crime scene clean up to get all the blood out.

  3. Their generation was unlike anything we are likely to see again. My deepest condolences and biggest hugs to you all.

    1. You're right Jo! I think initially the amount of blood scared her...otherwise she might not have called us at all. A Very independent lady! Thank you for your thoughts.

  4. Wow, that's just crazy.. I'm very sorry for your loss and please extend my condolences to Kathy.. So happy you're back.. You're such a great story teller..

    1. I'll let her know MiMi...Thank you.
      Feels good to be back. ;-)

  5. What a hot ticket!!! And nothing bleeds like a head wound. My sympathies to you and your family!

    1. Thanks for your kind condolences JoJo. She did look a fright when we got there, hair all matted with it, all down her shirt and sweater...and a little blood smears a long way...took 5 staples to close her head up!

  6. Hi Joe. I found your blog from the post Karen shared on FB. Very sorry to hear of the passing of Mama’s Bear Grandmother. This is a lovely, heartfelt tribute to her. Peaches and cream cheese pie, that might win anyone over! What a scene you came upon that night years ago and thank you for sharing your story. She certainly was a “tough old broad” and I like that! RIP to her, and my condolences to you and your family.

    1. Thank you so much for dropping by JerseyLil !!! And Thank you for your kind condolences...she was a tough, speak her mind kind of lady. You never had to wonder where you stood, she'd tell you, whether you wanted to know or not! Lol
      I hope you'll stop by again sometime... :-)