Aleph Mary Kaneer, née Pittman
Today my grandmother went home. She was ready. It never sat well with her that her younger sisters went before she did; and after Grandpa died three and a half years ago, a part of her never came home from the cemetery. She was a care-taker. But there was no one left to care for. Well. Not no one. In fact, her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and yes, great-great-grandchildren number over 50…without including spouses…which we do. So with family that in four generations ballooned to close to 100, she is missed by many. She is also missed by nieces, nephews, in-laws, church members, and all the other people she cared and prayed for over the years. And we all wish she was still here to care for us. We all have favorite memories, favorite foods, favorite quotations, and favorite images of her. Facebook is positively bursting with pictures of my grandmother, who never owned a computer. And I’m so glad to share her life and death with my family that way, because I can’t go to her funeral. She would understand that I have to take care of my husband and children. I’m pretty sure she liked Adam better than me anyway! He is a pastor, after all. I was a smart-mouth. (You know, before. Not now. No, never.) She missed those of us who couldn’t see her often, but she loved us the same. She prayed for us and worried about us…and when we came, she cooked for us and read Bible verses to us. And occasionally reminded us not to run into oncoming traffic…when we were 20. She never sat down. Never. Not even to eat. She would try, but then someone would ask her to pass something and she would run to the kitchen to get more. Though we were never out. The plastic-covered table (there were lots of kids around) was always full. Chicken and rice, fried chicken, sliced tomatoes, butter beans, green beans, peas of all sorts, green salad, ambrosia salad, jello salad, okra, pears, figs, water melon…these are just a few of the things that graced the table over the years. We all had our favorites. The house was often full too – especially if someone was visiting from out of town. The kids were always outside playing…unless they were me – I was trying to hold the baby (there was always a baby) and listen to what the grown-ups talked about. I was often sent outside…and told not to go in the street. We played on tire swings, shot arrows at targets in the pasture, hit baseballs, softballs and volleyballs, did handstands, cartwheels, and handsprings, and generally acted like…Kaneers. When someone got hurt, Grandma the nurse patched us up and told us about the illnesses of all the people in the extended family and in her church…we had generally never heard of them in any other context. That was Grandma’s sphere of influence: home, health, church, and family. And we all know and love each other because of her tireless efforts to make their house a home. Where I’m quite sure she never sat down. Go in peace, Grandma. We’re still praying for each other, for your sake and our own.