Yesterday evening, perhaps the most important person in my life passed away. My grandmother was 94 years old and succumbed to a broken hip and various complications that followed. Yet even in the passing from this mortal coil, she fought to stay in this world. Whether for her own reasons or to care for us, her family, it matters not at this time. She is with her late husband once again and the Lord which was her great desire during her life and upon her death.
As the resident pseudo-author in the family, I was once again tasked with writing an obituary and I have done so for her as follows:
Corinne Elder Hammond died at the age of 94 on June 10, 2010 in Roswell, Georgia. Born January 10, 1916 in Atlanta, Georgia to Herbert Franklin Elder and Minnie Lou Monroe Elder, Corinne was the eldest of 6 children. She lived her entire life in the city of her birth, marrying husband Robert E. Hammond, Sr. (1913-2008) in 1946 after his return from World War II. The two often enjoyed traveling and golfing in both the United States and Europe and spending time with family and friends scattered throughout the country. Corinne and Bob were members of Druid Hills Country Club, Northside United Methodist Church and later Roswell United Methodist Church. She is survived by her sister Louise Hanie; her children Toni Hammond Conrad, Terri Hammond and Robert E. Hammond, Jr.; and their families including five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Easily, I could add that this woman was very much a second mother to me helping to care for myself and my sister when our parents were divorced when I was 4 years of age. As my own mother went back to work, I spent much time with her at an early age playing "house" and watching a great deal of early HBO (God bless early cable.) She always loved to remember me dressing in my grandfather's coat, hat and shoes (far too large for me) and "coming home from work." Back scratches were also a time I remember well as my grandmothers hands could always make me feel comfort and ease, her fingers spelling out words that I would then have to guess.
As I grew older, she was always there to talk to and listen. Whenever I had trouble, she was there. She was always trying to feed me, give me money or items for assistance (she demanded that she buy me a bed frame when I had none), give me advice that I desired (or did not desire) and simply offering me an undying and unconditional love every single day of my life. Certainly opinionated and at times even angry at me, she was only thus because she loved this family with all of her heart and soul with me as part of it. She taught me the idea of family and its importance in a person's life, as well as a love for God and perhaps even humanity (the latter still requires some work.)
She wanted only the best for me and I am disappointed in myself that I was unable to give her that wish of a wife and home to call my own as in her last years, this was her great desire for me...happiness. Nana only wanted that for me - a life to call my own with all the benefits that come with a stable, loving family. Thankfully, I have her words in my heart and mind as I continue to find those things and I know that when I do, she will be pleased.
I am happy that she has found peace and is once again with her husband of 62 years. But I miss her already. That voice is only silenced face to face, however, as her heart and mind will stay with me until the day that I myself pass from this Earth. She was a profound influence on my life and my thoughts. Every single day I think of her and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. Rest in peace, Nana. I thank you, I miss you and I love you!
That is all.