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by KAREN VANLUVEN.........................................

My name is Karen. When I was very small my real mother left my sister and I. My father tried the very best he could to raise an infant and a 2 year old but it proved to be to challenging. He would bring us to this sweet womens house named Eleanor. She would watch us from 5 in the morning until my father would get off of work. He would be so exhausted. He kept this up for quite awhile until one day Aunt Pudge as we called her by then said to my father, "why not just let the girls live with us and you can come and see them whenever you want to" after awhile he decided instead of dragging us in and out it would be better. My father although a very quite man has always been in my life. He is my Grams son. My gram was my angel. She had tried her best to help with us also but my grandpa drank alot and she did not want us around that. After many different living situations because somethings did not work out at this home or that one my sister and I eventually married and had 13 children between the two of us. Her 6 and myself 7.Although things did not always work out for us and our living arrangements changed often all the homes that we were in were very good to us. The VERY MAIN THING I REMEMBER THOUGH IS MY GRAM NEVER EVER LEFT US. She eventually left my grandpa and at age 52 got her very first drivers license and very first paying job. My gram was a quite woman but would answer any and all questions. She was also very loving and thoughtful.She was so unselfish that when she found out she had breast cancer she took a taxi cab to the hospital to have her breast removed all by herself for heavens sake because she did not want to bother anyone with what she thought was her problem. She is and was the most AMAZING WOMAN I have ever known or met. My gram passed away at the age of 80 it all happened so fast. One day she was fine and active and the next day she was very sick. My husband, myself and 7 children lived with my gram while we looking to buy another house. When we found one we wanted to buy my gram for the first time in my life told me I was being selfish. I couldnt understand I thought she would be happy we had over ran the house with their being so many of us. My husband and I both worked and I would bring the kids to school and daycare etc. when the children who were in school would come home my gram has those old time cigar boxes for each individual child with crayons, scissors, pencils etc. to do their homework with, she loved that time of day with them not to mention it made my life alot easier also. Well she finally told me why she thought I was being selfish. She said to me, "Karen Marie, how can you take away the one thing that keeps me going which is you and these children. If you move I will be alone and I do not want that. Within one week my gram made me bring her to the bank and put my name on the house so we could take out a loan to add on to the home. The house was already paid off. So that is what we did. That was 2 years before my gram passed away. Once again her unselfishness came through. I wanted her to come home from the hospital and I was going to take off time from the school that I worked at for 15 years and take care of my gram and be there for her the way she had always done for me. But she wanted to go into a nursing home.Again I was so very confused. I went to that nursing home everyday after work and all day on the days I was off. Gram only got sicker though. You see back in the early 1970's when she had the masectomy done they did not use to remove the lymph nodes. What the docors though was pneumonia on the xrays was actually the cancer that had come back. My father and I were her favorites, but that was suppose to be a secret oops anyhow the day she passed away I had taken off work because by now myself and her 5 sisters were taking turns spending the nights with her at the nursing home. My father was on his way to pick me up so I could leave the car for my husband and what I found out after words will stay with me until I meet with my Gram in heaven. My aunt said out of the blue she woke up and said where are Bob (my father) and lil kenner (her nickname for me), my aunt said Bob has gone to get Karen. Oh man does this make me cry now and bring back a flood of memories. She told my aunt please make sure that Bobby and Lil Kenner know I love them and everything will be ok and she passed away. My aunt later told me that the reason she wanted to be in a nursing home was because myself and my children would sometimes crawl in bed and cuddle with her. She was afraid we would go into her bedroom and find her gone to heaven and did not want use to see that. That day was January 17, 1998.My gram had just turned 80 on January 1st 1998.My heart ached for so many many many years after that and still does. I wish I could have been with her that day and held her as she left this world but she had other plans because as I say she was the most amazing unselfish person I have ever known. It has been 12 years since my gram went to heaven. The older I get the more I get the big picture of what this life is all about. My gram was and is my angel. She taught me to be strong. I found this site because we just lost our black lab on Feb. 25th, 2010. I wrote a story for him on rainbow bridge for animals who have passed on. It was the 2nd hardest day in my life. I want to make this story a tribute to my gram my angel the woman who loved me for me and was always in my life cheering me on and guiding me. I miss you gram more than any story or words can express. I think about you all the time. I know you are with me because I feel you deep inside my heart. I also see signs from you. Thank you Gram for everything you ever did. I hope I told you and showed you enough how grateful I was and am that God choose you of all the grandmothers in the world to be mine. I will be forever gateful and blessed. I love you Gram. Wait for me a heavens gate and when God sees fit I will joinn you. I love you, Lil Kenner XOXOXOXOXO

Comments would be appreciated by the author, KAREN VANLUVEN

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