Macel Darlington, 1914-2005

September 16th, 2005 by Jeff | Dump Core

[Macel Darlington]

My grandmother passed away yesterday after a long and steady decline in health, culminating in congestive heart and kidney failure. She was 91.

Granny Macel–usually, since she was the grandparent my sister and I saw most frequently, we simply called her “Granny”–was the last of my grandparents to leave this earth. I never got a chance to meet my father’s father, as he passed away before I was born. My mother’s parents both died when I was young, and while my memories of them are fond and warm, they are also somewhat faded now by time. Granny Macel, however, was always there for us, since she lived in the same town just a short drive or long walk away. She has always been there, from my birth, through college, and beyond.

She was practically a second mother to us, helping watch the two of us while Mom and Dad had to work during the day. During our youngest years, she was almost always at our house, keeping track of two squabbling brats as best as a person her age could. Even as she got older and her memory and hearing began to fade, she was always feisty, always ready to speak her mind and let you know what she thought was right and wrong.

She led a full, rich life, and it seems there’s always something new to learn about her. She was born in a dirt-floor shack in the hills of West Virginia, and lived through some of the greatest events of the last century. She remembered the great flu epidemic of 1917, the Great Depression, World War II, man’s first steps into space…. She played women’s basketball and ran her own school to teach weaving. She loved anything having to do with Elvis, and had the largest collection of National Geographic magazines I’ve ever seen. Her house was always filled with a museum’s worth of knickknacks and antiques, as well as a virtual flock of parakeets and canaries.

Unfortunately, time ravaged her frail body. She had three hip replacement surgeries, lost at least one toe, and her hearing steadily faded until not even her hearing aids were very effective. Toward the end of her life, she was largely bedridden, although her doctors tried to help her move around with physical therapy. As she neared the end, her memory would come and go and she would occasionally confuse me for my dad. But I could always see the love in her eyes, and I knew without fail that she loved me (whether I was her son or grandson).

I know it may confuse some of you out there, but I actually take comfort in her death. Yes, she will be greatly missed, and I have to hold back tears when I think of how I will not see her smile upon this earth again. However, I know first of all that her pain and discomfort have ended, and she now has a peace she could never have had in her final state. But secondly and most importantly, I firmly believe she was a Christian, and that she entrusted her soul and eternal future into God’s hands. II Corinthians 5:8 tells us that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, and I am convinced she is now waiting there with her husband, the grandfather I’ve never met, waiting to greet me when I finally join them.

I love you, Granny Macel. May you find the rest and peace in Heaven that you could never have on earth. Keep some of those nice fresh tomatoes form your new garden handy; I’ll be there in 50-60 years or so, unless God has other plans.

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