This post is in honor of my Grandma Wibbie, who passed away Friday night at the age of 98.
I like to believe she was warmly received in heaven by my grandfather, her dad and mother (who died when she was a little girl), her sisters Doris, Annie Lea and Johnnie D, her best friends Mildred and Porter, and the scores of other family and friends who went before her.
When I was a kid, I loved staying at my grandparents' house in the summer, riding out to the garden in their old pickup truck to pick strawberries, staying up late to watch the news and weather, cruising the aisles of the small-town WalMart. Wibbie had been a school lunch lady, so she knew everybody-- and their parents and their kids. Until her late 70s, she got up early to go to the senior center, where she cooked for "the old people."
When my grandparents arrived at our house every Christmas Eve, it would be as if Santa himself had pulled into the driveway. Out of their boat of a Buick would spill laundry baskets full of presents, and beer flats stacked with homemade fudge, divinity, molasses cookies, strawberry preserves, apple butter, pickled beets.
Although she suffered from dementia for the past several years, Wibbie stayed fiesty and funny until the end. If she hadn't broken her hip at Thanksgiving, I have no doubt she would have lived to 100 and beyond. I'm glad she's passed peacefully along.
Still, I'm really going to miss her.