I have been lucky enough to have five great-grandmothers alive during my lifetime. Today, I lost the last of them.
My Grandma Schumer was a tough old lady, nothing like the rest of them. I always said she was like a stereotypical British woman: she didn’t show emotion but you knew she loved you.
When my dad called me to tell me she died, two things happened.
First, a wave of memories flooded my brain: the first time I saw her cry, the time she told me she did speed when she was younger and all the years of love she gave me.
Second, I thought to myself, “Damn, Grandma. You couldn’t wait until I wasn’t in public to cause a scene?”
You see, my great-grandma always had a flair for the dramatics, like when her daughter (my grandmother) died and she decided to break her wrist while we were planning a funeral. Dramatic, right?
This also happened to be the first and only time I saw Grandma Schumer cry. It was the day of my grandma’s visitation and it was time to get ready.
Being the favorite great-grandchild I am, (no, I’m not apologizing to the others) I went to help her get dressed as her little stunt made it hard for her to do that on her own. I peeked in the door to make sure I was in the clear to go in and I saw her holding a picture of her eldest daughter and crying.
In that moment, I saw a grieving mother who just lost her second child. She had to go through it alone, without her husband who passed away nearly 20 years ago. All she had was some lousy kids, grandkids and great grandkids who were all grieving their own personal losses.
My Grandma Schumer was strong. She was brave. She saw more loss and pain than I could handle, and she made it out on the other side like nothing happened because that’s just who she was.
Now I have to begin emotionally preparing myself to really lose her. Not just the initial shock and pain that comes with loss, no, I have to go to a visitation and a funeral and say goodbye to the very last of my great-grandmothers.
So I’ll try to start now.
Today, I lost one of the most amazing women I’ve ever known, Jeanette Schumer. She was an amazing mother, sister, grandmother and great- grandmother.
She taught me strength, perseverance and that moms in the 50s did meth occasionally for some reason.
I know she’s in a much better place with the love of her life and two daughters, but boy are we going to miss her.
Grandma Schumer, I love you. Thank you for everything you taught me, I wish we had more time together and I hope Heaven tolerates your flair for dramatics.
Corryn Brock is a junior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]