Tuesday, September 18, 2007

One Year

Sorry that I haven't posted in a few days! Busyness overcame me!
Today is the one-year anniversary of Grandma Markey's death. Yes, I keep track of such things. (Does anyone else do that?) I guess I inherited the knack for remembering dates from my dad.
It's unbelievable how quickly a year goes by... Here are some pictures that I found of Grandma. Enjoy!

This one is Grandma and Danae at their first meeting in November 2005. Yup, Danae is sticking her tongue out! :)
Here's a somewhat "generational" picture: Grandma, my mom, me, and Danae.

Remembering is a good thing...


An Old Irish Blessing:


May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind always be at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

and rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Here's something my brother James wrote. I think it completely encompasses who Grandma was.

September 22, 2006 - Friday
My Grandma
On September 18th, 2006, Monday morning, my grandma died. She was a month and a half shy of 96 years old. When someone that old dies one is obligated to say things about how she had such a long life and it was her time. No time is ever right to lose someone the caliber of my grandma. She was the cornerstone that held together 4 generations of living Markey's. There is now a void inside every one of my family members who had the honor of knowing her.

She was born Bessie McKernan and died Elizabeth Francis Markey. She was the last survivor of 4 siblings (Celia, John and Helen) who spent their early 20's living through the depression. She was born, raised and died in Brooklyn , New York . She married in 1936 to my grandpa, Henry Markey, to whom she bore 2 sons; my uncle Joseph and my father James. The next generation bore 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grand children for my grandma. Since 1970, my grandma lived alone in a small apartment on 4th Avenue and Prospect Avenue . She lived there for over 40 years. It was only in the last 2 years of her life that she required a caretaker named Zelena to be there for her to accomplish some tasks. There are the basic details.

What an obituary in the newspaper won't tell you is how despite the fact that she lived alone, she was never by herself. Family surrounded my grandma for every day of her life. She went to every wedding, held every grand and great-grand child, and attended every funeral up to the time when she was no longer able. Most people have a few years on the down slope before they die. My grandma took 2 weeks. She was always smiling, always laughing, always loving. The last my dad remembers of her being sick was 1964 and she never took any kind of medicine in her life. She was a life-long devoted Irish-Catholic who even in her 2-week decline still attempted to recite the Rosary when her priest made a house call. Despite being physically assaulted and mugged in her apartment at the age of 90 refused to move in with someone for the proceeding 5 years. No one could meet her and then not be thought of as a friend. She was the type of person to flirt with the waiter at a restaurant and watch reruns of Knots Landing with her caretaker. She was energetic and sharp of mind up until those 2 weeks that resulted in her death.

No simple words can describe her. These words do not even begin to do her life justice. I had the privilege of having my grandma for 22 years. At the point I was born she had already lived 73 years of a life that cannot be summarized or explained with a single paragraph. Four generations of my family now have to look to each other for strength, when before we simply looked to Grandma Markey.

6 comments:

James said...

For some reason, I try to block these things out. But the month and year always remain inbedded in my brain. I don't always remember the day, but I remember where I was when I heard. Sept 18, 06-Grandma - driving to campus- Beth told me. May 15,05-Titi Nilda - in my apartment, at my desk- Beth told me. Aug 03 - Aunt Helen, Wendy's on 72 in Manahawkin - Beth told me. Dec 03- Aunt Kay, at the Brown residence in MD - Beth told me. I'm not saying there is a pattern. ;-)

Did you ever read what I wrote about grandma on myspace? Maybe I didn't send that to family for some reason. I'll send you the link later.

Kara Stoltzfus said...

Since Logan died, I've become so much more aware of dates, etc. Not just my own, but other people's losses as well. It's so important to people that you remember.

I love that Irish blessing.

Debi said...

The date is marked on my calendar, though I did not need that to remember as soon as I woke up today. As a matter of fact, one of my co workers told me she was thinking of me last night, and knew today was indicative of something important. We spoke of Grandma at work today, as we remembered when I received the phone call that day one year ago (from Beth too!).
I can hear her voice the last time I spoke to her on the phone, and it feels like yesterday. The "Oh Deb....Hi!" and the "Bye Now"...in her own special way.
If everyone could have a grandmother like her...we are so blessed to have had so many years to share life with her.
Cherished memories...
Love to all.
Debi

Meagan said...

I miss Grandma Markey. It was very sad when Mom told me she died... Yeah well I know she's watching us up there making sure we're safe. Yeah... Well I hope you come see me soon!! Love you!!

Love, Meagan

Aimee said...

It sounds like she was such a special person and you were so blessed to have her in your life!

On another note, I'm tagging you Bessy!! You must give us the 8 things we don't already know about you - think hard! :)

Doriann said...

I used to really love the month of September, but now it is bittersweet. It marks the one year anniversary of grandma's death and the unforgettable termination day at my last job.

The older I become, the more time seems to pass by very quickly. And even though I had 35 years with my grandmother, I feel like they were a dream. I often grasp at memories of her. When I was young, my dad used to take me to her house to visit, and we would have tea and toast with Breakstone butter. When I was dating my husband, we took a few trips to her apartment, one of which required a three-hour journey on NJ Transit and NYC subways.

The whole experience reminds me of how important it is to spend time with the people you love. Besides God and having a personal relationship with Him, making memories together is what life is really all about.