I came back to Melbourne a few days ago after the fall semester ended. This big house seems a bit empty now. I was so used to hearing Grams talk to the dog or open up the freezer in search of little Sweet Sixteen donuts.
I miss her. It’s been hard. I can’t even imagine what my Mom feels. While Dad would be working late at night, the three of us would eat dinner together. Well, more like Mom and I would eat and Grams would take a couple bites and then eat donuts or ice cream an hour later. She sure did like sweets and she got to that age where she wanted nothing but dessert. A lot of times if Mom had something going on at night I would just run out to Wendy’s and get Grams a burger and Frosty. You could really never go wrong with that.
Joanie Pony had spunk. Even though I have many memories of her in pain, I have many more memories of her laughing and cracking jokes. I seem to remember a couple weeks before she passed away she called her son porky pig for eating her ice cream (in a loving way of course). Really all through out my childhood it was one thing after another with her health. In and out of the hospital and rehab. When my Grandpa Dell died she got to the point where living on her own would’ve been hard, so she moved in with my parents and me.
There were times when it was just plain hard for us to take care of her. She would get down because of her physical ailments and seemed to not want to be here anymore. And she finally let go and went home. It brings such joy to my heart knowing that she is no longer suffering and is eternally in God’s presence. His healing has been so tremendous in my heart. My initial sadness at her passing was more than any I’ve experienced because we were so close. She wasn’t the grandma I saw once a year- she lived with us, she ate with us; she knew the happenings in my life, she knew my friends; I cared for her and took her to the doctor (though most of that was my amazing parents’ doing). But God has brought me such comfort and the peace I have with knowing she is home is greater than the my missing her here. She was such a blessing to all of her four children and granddaughters and great-grandchildren.
So now I can look back on the memories and smile, even though I still occasionally have to fight tears. My favorite memories are her stories of when she was younger. She would tell me how she met my Grandpa Lee, who I never got to meet. She had plenty of tales about the men she dated before him, especially the two Dons. They were always quite funny to hear, and her animation always got me laughing. She had a thing for Mario Lopez, and even in her final days she was battling her nurse for him. Grams also loved Ohio State. She would watch those football games every Saturday. Even the last Saturday she was with us the game was on.
I remember when I called home right after J.R. proposed. Mom told Grams that there was some big news. She said, “Either Allison is getting married or Traci is pregnant!” When I got on the phone and told her, the first thing she said was, “What about school?! You’re going to finish school right?!’ Once I got that cleared away she seemed to like the idea. A couple weeks before she passed away I came back to visit her by myself and I talked with her for a while about the wedding. She apologized that she wouldn’t be there. It broke my heart. She told me how much she liked J.R. and how she knew good things would come of our marriage. She started talking about heaven and we prayed together and cried together and thanked God for the life He gave her. She had a great 83 years here.