Wednesday, October 15, 2014

We Recently Had A Death in The Family

I have been absent since last Wednesday from the blog.  We had a death in the family.  My grandmother, Evelyn Halterman Altman.  How do I describe my grandmother.  She had a profound influence on my life.  She was many things to me.  She was a grandmother.  She was a mother.  She was a friend.  She was a travel companion.  She was a confidante.  She was a drinking buddy.  She was a spiritual guider, but not a Bible-beater.  She didn't hit you over the head with religion.  She didn't force religion.  But she was religious.  Very few people can do that.  She was a hard worker and loyal to her friends and family.  She was honest and truthful without being hurtful.

She was born in Charles County, MD on May 31, 1919.  Hers was a difficult childhood, living and working on a farm with a strong-armed father who did not spare the rod with any of his children, my grandmother included.  She was educated through I believe middle-school years, but smarter, and with a better command of the English language than anyone I have encountered graduating from any institution of learning in recent days.  She was married to my grandfather, Paul Noel Altman until his death in 1988.  She lived her remaining years a widow.  She remained in the family home for only about one year after his death at which time she sold the home to my cousin and her husband and she took an apartment in town. Unhappy there, she eventually moved in with my mother and father in the early 1990's.  My father died in July, 2000, and she and my mother remained in my family home until 2008 when they both moved to my sisters home in Midlothian, VA.  That was where my grandmother died on Thursday of last week.

Here is a picture of my grandmother and grandfather sometime in the 1930's.  Surprisingly, she still looked very much like this at the age of 95.  Stylish to the end.

And a picture taken of them, I would venture, sometime in the mid-1980's.  They were special, special people.  Both of them.  I loved them both more than I could ever express in words.  And they both loved me unconditionally.  And believe me, I brought plenty of conditions!

I grieved my grandfather in 1988 and I have grieved my grandmother this past week.  I will miss her. I think many times we think our parents and our grandparents will be here forever.  I was very fortunate to have my grandmother for 95 years.  Not many people can say that.  Our hearts will heal from this and we will move on.  But nothing will ever be the same again in my life without her.
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