Thursday, April 17, 2008

An Abundant Life: Irene Cottrell Brisco November 29, 1915-April 17, 2008

Today my grandmother Irene passed away. A few years ago I made a doll that I named ABUNDANCE that for me
was sort of an allegory of my grandmother.

My grandmother was fondly called "Frank" by my grandfather....and having a sense of humor to match his, she called and referred to him as "he"! ( I wonder why I have such an odd sense of humor?) My grandfather would pretend he was deaf (to all but small children) and she with a amused look on her face, would tell one of us smaller children, "tell 'he' that dinner is ready"!

My grandmother taught me by example that you are polite to all people whether they deserve it or not. One occasion I remember as a little girl was going to a store with her and hearing the owner of the store refer to her as "girl". (I had lived in the north most of my life and such southern ways such as calling grown women "girl" or mixed people such as our family was things like "colored" or "mulatto" were mostly unknown to me.) My grandmother smiled at him and gave him an appropriate "sir". Outside the store my aunts and mother turned into hens that had seen a snake!

They were outraged! How dare he!

My grandmother just smiled and shook her head and said that the store manager was not who she answered to. And the one that she did answer to expected her to keep a civil tongue in her head. Nothing else was said.

Nothing else needed to be said.

My grandmother lived to see her 92nd year, she would have been 93 this November. I hope I live my life even half as well as she did. A few days ago she told my uncle in the evening that she was "very tired and ready to go home." The next morning she slipped into a coma. Today she went home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus. I know I will see her again....along with a sister and a baby, Joshua, who both went home all too soon.

Till then grandma!


Tami said...

Condolences on your grandmother's death. It sounds like she lived a very long and beautiful life. The video's striking ... I've always liked Amazing Grace.

Rita said...

I'm so sorry for your pain, Angela. I heard so much about your grandmother that I felt I knew her. I think she and my Granny would have liked each other very much.

Love you lots -- Rita

FairiesNest said...

My own grandmother recently passed away at age 94. We are so blessed to have had these wonderful women in our lives!

Laurel said...

What a beautiful tribute to your grandma! My mother had a wacky sense of humor, too, so I can really appreciate your grandparents' way of looking at life. The "Greatest Generation" had a lot to teach us - not always politically correct in today's term, but always brave and very human.

Kai said...

I'm sorry that your grandmother crossed over! She sounded like an absolute treasure. (Now I know why YOU are such a sweetheart! You come from sweetheart STOCK!) I had to smile over the names your grandparents called each other. My grandmother called my grandfather 'the old man' WAY before he WAS, and he called HER Old Long-Tongued Woman because he said she talked WAY too much for our people. (Comanche) I - uh - think her trait was passed along to me. LOL! Bet you Ms. Irene is on the Otherside, talking away with my grandma! I like to think so!

scarletti said...

Sincere condolences. You have written a beautiful tribute whose message will stay with me for a long time.

Mariella said...

Oh Angela, what a nice tribute to your grandma!
My father passed away on 12th March a week before his 68th birthday, too early. He was such a good man and a sweetheart and I must admit that he left so many good things in my heart.
My tribute to him was to drive all alone from Milan (where I live) for 800 KM to his native little country on the top of a hill in front of Montecassino. For some strange reason I know I HAD to do it, and I felt soo good!
I wish I could met him again someday ...