Friday, 11 November 2011

Iris Bride

I finished Deaglan’s birthday party invitations last night. It was a process.

First I had to come up with a guest list – something he was of no help with. At the beginning of the week he told me the only person he wanted at his party was Naveen. I didn’t point out the obvious – that his baby brother would most likely always be at his parties, even those years he might not be welcome. But finally after sitting with his class picture, naming each classmate, we came up with a list. Next, I typed up a special note in tiny font to go into the invitations, printed those off, cut them small enough to fit inside the cards. And then I filled in the party details, sealed the envelopes and stuck them in his backpack with a note to his teachers.


It was my whole evening.

It made me think a lot on parenting. How it can be such a thankless job. I thought about how usually it only becomes a hot topic when it’s done badly. But good-enough parenting? It rarely gets an honorable mention. I was in one of those moods last night.

I was thinking about Iris Bride.

Shaune calls her Gramma Mac. On Wednesday morning before work he drove the half hour outside the city to sit with her. He held her hand and stroked her hair, whispered things to her. He said I love you Gramma. You have been a wonderful Gramma to me all these years.

And in his own way, he prayed that God scoop her up right then, take her Home.

She’d been taken off of life support at the beginning of the week, dosed just enough to be considered comfortable. And yet she hovers here, ashen, weak, with no will of her own, just waiting. We mourned her last night, my husband and I. We wondered how it could come down to these last few days, these terrible grim days of waiting.

People had warned Shaune of her state, reminded him that this was not how he should remember his Grandmother. They told him that she’d been muttering things not usually in her nature, that she might not look like the woman he knew. But after he’d sat with her for those hours, kissed her sallow cheek, he told me that it wasn’t true.

This too is Gramma, he said. Maybe not the way we are comfortable knowing her, but this is what she is like at the end of her life.

She turned 93 this year, birthed seven babies, met her great-grandchildren. It’s easy to say ahh but she lived a full life. Knowing she’s laying there, in the Home, tubes up her nose, waiting; these words get caught.

I pray for your eternal peace, Bride.

Deaglan on Gramma Mac's knee on her 90th birthday.


  1. I'm sorry you and Shaun are having to go through such a painful process. Peace to Gramma Mac and to you.

  2. "This too is Gramma, he said. Maybe not the way we are comfortable knowing her, but this is what she is like at the end of her life."

    This makes me cry, because it's true-the end of a life is a part of a life, just the same. Shaune is a very wise man. Blessings and hugs for you guys at this time:)

  3. I love you Kim, so glad you belong to our family. You are a treasure and your words are priceless!

  4. Oh gosh, I felt the same way when my grandmother was at the tail end of Alzheimers. It is so so hard.

  5. Your words really are priceless...

    I'm so sorry about Gramma Mac - I hope things get easier for you in this process.

    And yes, being a parent is so thankless at times. There is so much that we do that nobody really sees!

  6. It makes me sad to see Bride waiting for her final breath..We all have very special memmories and will appreciate them even more after the angels have her wrapped in their beautiful wings.

  7. I am so sorry!! She sounds like an amazing woman.

  8. I am so sorry. What a beautiful tribute, she sounds like an amazing lady. I hope her passing is easy and quick.

  9. Prayers for her and you guys during this time.

    That last photo is wonderful.

    Good luck on the party. Having a birthday during the holiday season is tough.

  10. What a beautiful photo. Full life indeed! She will live on in Shaune and her great-grandsons. I'm going to go call my 90-yr-old Grammy

  11. Kim, I'm so sorry for the sadness that is with all of you right now. I am sending you so much love and hugs my dear friend. I love that picture of little Deaglan on Gramma Mac's knee. Tenderness and joy are so beautifully expressed in their expressions. Praying for you all. Love and hugs, Kelly

  12. Oh, sorry for your family right now. I hope peace finds her soon.
    Hugs XOXO

  13. difficult times it's good he went though.. even if she doesn't seem like she knows..she does..

  14. That's hard, even with knowing she lived a full life.

  15. It's always difficult when a loved one is near the end of life. I hope you can continue to remember the good about her and reflect back on that in times that you miss her.

  16. Tugging at my heart strings. I will be caring for a sick family member over the holidays, so this one strikes very close to home.

  17. I am glad she is at peace, and thrilled to read about another family who appreciates the blessing of having someone from a wiser generation around for so long.

  18. Grandmothers are precious gifts - at least the good ones are. Remembering Iris in prayer. We may be facing the same thing soon. :(


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