Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I miss my Gangee

Yesterday was the birthday of my paternal grandmother who was born on October 26, 1900. I was so close to her that, as an Army soldier stationed in the Republic of Korea, my sergeant approved a 30-day emergency leave request in March 1975 for me to fly home and be with her when she was critically ill.

I vividly remember the long 14-hour flight home to California wondering the whole trip how she was doing and whether she was still alive. I also remember the first words I uttered upon arriving of “how is she?” and the answer from my uncle that “she passed away.” I immediately broke into tears and, later that night, cried my guts out in a torrential storm of tears as I tossed and turned in bed all night wanting to believe that it was all a bad dream.

Without a doubt, I was her favorite grandchild; there's always one who has that honor and, with her, it was me. I spent a lot of time visiting her and together we watched her favorite television shows on her black and white television set. Shows like Bonanza, Gunsmoke and other western television series that were very popular at that time along with the Perry Como Show, Ed Sullivan Show and Lawrence Welk Show.

All her grandchildren knew her as “Gangee”, a name I gave her according to my Dad as that was my infant attempt to call her grandma. It was a name that stuck with her and how I knew and called her until the day she died.

Yesterday, on her 109th birthday, I thought of her often and, later than evening, offered my evening prayers for the repose of her soul while reflecting on how much I miss my Gangee.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum


Anonymous said...

Awww, Pierini, you made me cry.
Yesterday was my dad's birthday. He's been gone now for 6 yrs.

Isn't it nice to remember our loved ones that have passed on to a better place? You'll always have your memories of your Gangee. I miss my Granny Ruby too.

Next Sunday at my church is All Saints Sunday when we take time to remember all of our loved ones who have passed on. It's always a very emotional service for me.

Take are,

pierini said...

Hi Donna,

Do you mean November 2nd which is All Souls Day?

Charles Long said...

Very touching. I missed my grandmothers funeral as my car broke down on the way. We were 2 1/2 hours away with a Ford van that wouldn't go. I did get to see her a couple of weeks before that.

Anonymous said...

We have a service on the first Sunday in November, so it's not a particular date (Methodist church).
You can bring in a photo and display it on the table at the altar and we have a special prayer.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pierini,
Here's a proper explanation copied from wikipedia:

"In the United Methodist Church, All Saints' Day is on the first Sunday in November. It is held, not only to remember Saints, but also to remember all those that have died that were members of the local church congregation[6]. In some congregations, a candle is lit by the Acolyte as each person's name is called out by the clergy. Prayers and responsive readings may accompany the event. Often, the names of those who have died in the past year are afixed to a memorial plaque."

Donna :)