April 18, 1927 - September 20, 2009
My grandmother passed away this morning. My mom, dad, uncle and her pastor were at her side. I have been bracing myself for this for weeks now. I knew she had been in poor health and was expecting it to happen a couple of weeks ago. But then she rallied and was able to be discharged from the hospital to a rehab center in hopes of getting her strength built back up to where she could go home. My mom has been with her a lot through this. Will and I got to visit a few weeks ago. My oldest brother was able to go see her last weekend and take her for a ride, get her a cheese enchilada and let her stop and visit with her dog. Sam and his family and Joseph were also able to visit a few weeks ago.
Until her first hospitalization several weeks ago, she had been living on her own and able to take care of all of her daily needs. She was even driving still, possibly to the danger of fellow Corinthians. If she rode with you, she would say things like "Oh you don't have to stop at this stop sign. Nobody is ever here." She always tried to convince us to park in a handicap spot, even though our vehicle wasn't tagged for that. She always knew who had just been married, moved or had a new baby. She was definitely an authority on any of the goings on in Corinth (at least she thought she was). If we went somewhere she always ran into about 5 people she knew. Or was related to. If you are part of the Johnson family and you are in Corinth, that is pretty easy to do!
We had a special grandmother-grandaughter relationship. Chris tells me we clashed from the beginning. We were both so hard-headed and would probably both argue with a wall, so our visits would inevitibly end up in (temporary) frustration on both sides. One of Brad's most fond memories is a few years ago at Thanksgiving when I was preparing to bake some yeast rolls (that I had made before) and she was trying to tell me how to butter them. She wouldn't leave me alone about it and even told me I didn't know how to butter rolls! So Brad walked into the kitchen about that time and I strongly suggested he take her to the living room and show her pictures from our recent trip. He still gives me heck about that. Betty Jo definitely had her own way of doing things and if yours was different, well, it just wasn't right!
She was a very loving lady and I have many fond memories of going to visit her. I am so happy that she was able to live on her own until the very end. She wouldn't have taken well to being bed ridden and dependent on other people! She did recently say that she was really hurting all over, so I am thankful she is not in any pain now. God's timing is always so perfect. My great aunt Kat came to town last weekend (she lives in Arizona and comes once a year or less often). She was my grandfather's baby sister and is always such a delight to be around. Betty Jo loved when Kat visited. She got to visit some with Betty Jo while before she became confused and was with her when she went to the ER Friday night. Kat will be able to attend the funeral. And I am still able to travel so will be able to attend, too.
I am so thankful that our family has been able to spend extra time with her over the past several weeks and I hope she knew just how much we loved and cared about her, even when we weren't there. We will miss her very much. Thank you to all of you who have supported our family in prayer, love and visits.