October 18, 2009

Banana Chips

Like most people (aside from my children), I have very few memories of my early years. One memory that I have kept over the last 3 decades is of me and Frieda. When I met Frieda, she was really old...like not too many years off from my parents' current age - about 70. She came to church each Sunday and sometimes she would sit near our family and sometimes I would see her in the foyer. Her hair was usually pulled up in a braided bun. She wore floor length dresses with a 3 or 4 inch ruffle along the bottom. It didn't matter where we met, she would always have a box of banana chips and give me some. I loved her for thinking of little people like me and for being so well prepared to share.

As time went on, our ways separated for several years. She sent a card for my wedding and I was grateful she still remembered me. A few years later she moved to our town and lived in a nursing home not far from our home. We visited her several times and the photo of all my boys on the sidebar is in her room for her 101st birthday. We have also had a handful of family nights with Frieda. We bring our family, a little lesson and a game and meet up at her place.

A couple of weeks ago, Tymon was at school and I wanted to do a family night with Frieda. I asked my parents to come to help me with my children. Keeping four young children in check in a nursing home is not the easiest. I didn't know it but it turned out that Frieda had been served dinner late and she held off until we were done with our lesson and game. When my Dad took her back to her room, he began to feed her and then asked that I do it as he and my mother had to leave. I shared a special time with her. I let go of my concern for my children wreaking havoc on the poor lady asleep in the next bed. Jocelyn was strapped in the stroller and I was okay with Elliott giving her rides. Jett wanted to sit on my lap while I fed her and I worked with him on that request. Graeden was jumping all over the place and touching everything. I enjoyed having to slow down my pace. The boys will remember her for her gumdrops, which she kept pulling out from the shelf next to her chair. They cleaned her out.

Frieda died this morning. And the tears I have for her now are those of sadness. Sad that my boys won't know her beyond their youth. And there are tears of happiness that she is free from mortality. It's gotta really be disappointing and hard to lose your hearing, eyesight, half your teeth and be constrained to a wheel chair. And then to need help to get dressed, eat, use the toilet and bathe is probably really humbling.

Rest in peace, Frieda. Enjoy your family. You've been without them for a long time. Your memory lives on. You will be missed.

8 Riveting COMMENTS:

  1. Hi Brid, beautiful post. Hopefully she is up there with those she loves most!

  2. What a sweet lady. I'm sorry for your sadness.

  3. Cute posting...but it I don't remember her giving us banana chips, but I know there was someone in the ward...I can't remember her name. She hung around with Bonnie's Family...

  4. Thanks for sharing your story. My grandma turned 97 this past week and although she's as lively as can be...she's lonely and keeps saying, "I've lived a good life. I can go anytime." Take care!

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  6. I have memories of sweet Frieda as well. I didn't know she had passed. Thanks for posting! I thought I would email my parents - do you know any more info?

  7. As far as I know the funeral will be Wednesday at 2pm in the Snohomish building. That was the tentative plan as of Sunday, but it wasn't set in stone.

  8. How wonderful for you and your kids to share those memories which are sure to be kept alive as your love for her is contageous.


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