My grandmother was born in 1908. This is my father’s mother. She was a musician. She was a songwriter, and she is very beautiful to me.
My grandmother suffers with dementia. She does not know me anymore, nor does she know her two sons, my father, and my uncle. I should rephrase. My grandmother is spared the suffering that life offers because of dementia. She does not remember enough to be upset at any point in time. She always talks about God…that, she does remember.
Her name is Evelyn Griffith. She was married to my grandfather, John Griffith for over 50 years. He died in 1994, the same week that I embarked upon a monumental journey with a multi-media company called Camfel Productions. It was difficult to imagine that I would no longer see him in person. However, one year later to the day that he died, I had a dream while I slept and in that dream I met with him and told him that I love him (certainly not unspoken words while he was alive, I loved him very much, and I said it often.) He said goodbye to me in that dream. It was closure for me whether or not it was supernatural or not.
Evelyn wrote beautiful songs and she was even published. She wrote a song to my grandfather called “Delta Sweetheart of my Dreams.” She also wrote a fight song called “Maroon and White” for a college back east.
Why am I posting this? I hadn’t seen her in over a year. She’s 100 years old, and she doesn’t really remember that I’ve visited, nor does she remember who I am. I have had plenty of time, practically a decade, to deal with these facts, so it’s not as hard as it may sound. Her mental health has deteriorated over the years, but physically and spiritually, she just keeps on truckin. She’s been in full time care for about 8 years now, and last week she was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot in her leg. I visited with my dad and uncle (the three boys as she used to call us) on Saturday after Fuel rehearsal, and I was amazed to see how aged she was. The last photo I have of her was on Christmas day of 2000 and it’s hard to remember exactly what someone looks like when you only see them twice a year, if that.
She will be gone soon. As she lay in her bed, she stared at the wall below the television, seemingly locked in a gaze with something that neither you nor I would be able to see. It was clear that she could see beyond this world. She loves the Lord so much and He has been very merciful to her. Grandad fell asleep and never woke up. Baca Baca will also (that’s what I called her). Watching her eyes focused on the ceiling was comforting as it appeared she was staring straight at God. It will be hard to see her go, and I will grieve deeply.
I will miss her dearly when He takes her home, but I am anxious to see her set free from an expired body and mind.
Grandad was the president of a title company here in Phoenix years ago, and also was the president of Paradise Valley Country Club. Back in the seventies, they owned a home in Lincoln Hills that overlooks Lincoln road, just to the left of a guard gate. This is where I spent a great deal of time when mom and dad were off and about. There are no records that I can find online that have their name on them, and no activity on the property since 2001, but the comparables in the area are in the $1.5 Million mark.
It was built in 1974, and I’d love to find out exactly what they paid for it. It has been in the possession of the same family since August of 1995. Perhaps I should write a series of articles about all of the homes that I lived in across the valley. After all, I have been in the valley my entire life, which began in 1972 and it would make for an interesting study of the value of land and property in Phoenix over 36 years. I lived in about 18 homes I think.
I digress. Anyway, these are wonderful memories for me. Perhaps you also have some memories you’d like to share? Feel free to comment on this article and tell me about your experience in Phoenix and the relationships that you have had that have been valuable to you.