I did a quick search to see if I'd ever written about her. You have to scroll down the page a bit to see my reference to her when submitting a "hush puppies" recipe.
Dorothy Pearl Gilmore is one tough mo-fo.
She's my grandmother. Born April 14, 1919 in Oklahoma.
Lived through a lot of hard times.
Raised 4 kids, basically on her own.
At one time 6 grandchildren ran through her house. Later, 4 more joined ranks.
She was crass and crazy. She was lovnig and mean. She had a good heart.
Today, her good heart is failing.
She was sent home from the hospital to be comfortable. Her doctor is either a prick or a saint...I'm not sure which. Hopefully, she'll be pain-free.
Should I go back to help? I don't know. It will only bring on extreme stress and pain.
If I don't go, will I regret it? I don't know.
I feel very guilty about everything involving this horrid, bitter, mentally-ill woman. I have geared my own life toward NOT becoming her...including taking DAILY medication in order to make sure I sleep and don't suffer anxiety attacks such as those I had thorughout my 20's and early 30's. I was very ill during those times...just like she is ALL of the time.
She would take long walks at 3:30 a.m., peering into neighbors' windows to get a look inside at their decor. She would find pennies on the roadway and mail them to my young son, so he could save money for his next visit out to see her.
She began gluing magazine cut-outs on the exterior of her home about 8 years ago and has managed to cover the entire front of her house. Windows, doors, siding...it's all covered. I was embarrassed and amazed, all at the same time. Whenever I assign any collage word as a teacher, it is her I see in my mind's eye. Whenever I feel like picking up a rubber boot and hurling it through a window, (well, I've actually followed through on this act), it was her I saw.
I know her voice. It talked with me about sewing, shared horrible stories about other family members, made fun of me for gaining weight, laughed a little too loud at gatherings, forgot to say "thank you" for gifts, rode my mother for all of her shortcomings, and told me I was special. Her hands taught me to crochet. She made me clothes, quilts, blankets, rugs, and clothespin holders. She bought me a pack of gum and then took it away from me before I could open it, because I "wasn't as nice as she thought I should be." She asked if we wanted a Dilly Bar from Dq...and then drove us out to the highway to collect enough bottles to return for the deposit so we could buy our own bars.
NEXT MORNING UPDATE: Dorothy P. White-Gilmore passed away on May 12, 2209.