2014 is Kicking my Ass

I lost my grandma this week (GG as she had become known since I had a kid). She went into the hospital on Wednesday with severe stomach pain and it turned out to be a perforation in her intestines. Because of her health and age, there was nothing that could be done other than try to keep her comfortable and try to keep her from feeling any pain. We stayed by her side day and night until she finally passed on Saturday.

She was my best friend since I was 6 and I’m having a pretty hard time imaging a world without her.

Mary Loyola Brantley (nee Gorman), lover of all things sugary, consummate storyteller and flirt, bargain hunter, bacon enthusiast, world traveler, known as Lola to some and Grandma to most, passed away July 19, 2014 surrounded by her family.

Born in Wagner, SD on March 1, 1926, Lola was the youngest of five children of Frank & Alice Gorman. She attended Austin High School in Austin, MN where she met and married Gerald (Jerry) Brantley. Lola and Jerry had five children who were the light of her life. She was blessed with 12 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren over the past four decades and became an honorary grandma to everyone she met – including gaining the unofficial title of Band Grandma to the Folsom High Marching Band.

She found a love of travel at the age of 80 and spent the last 8 years of her life seeing the world. From kissing the Blarney stone, to having an audience with the Pope at The Vatican (and by audience, we mean she saw him from very far away), to picnicking under the Eiffel tower, to going all Augustus Gloop at the Chocolate Factory in Cologne, Lola became a great adventurer with a passion for trying new things, seeing new places, and charming new people all over the world.

Lola was loving, generous, supportive, tenacious, mischievous, fiercely loyal, and a million other adjectives that wouldn’t begin to convey the hole she will leave behind.

Lola is survived by her 4 daughters, 1 son, 11 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren and numerous acquired grandchildren, friends, and her loyal canine companion BeCea.

She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, two sisters, son-in-law, and granddaughter.

There will be a celebration of her life everyday so long as someone remembers her and smiles. Lola wished to have her ashes spread into the ocean to rejoin her husband and son-in-law. A date is not yet set for the memorial, but everyone who may want to attend will be contacted well in advance, because nothing pleased Lola more than a party in her honor.

People often write that a loved one would prefer a donation to a charity in lieu of flowers, but in all honesty, Lola would have enjoyed the flowers and taken 800 pictures of them. Her family however, who never let her have any fun, kindly requests that instead of flowers you commit one random act of kindness in Lola’s honor.

Pro: The Chemo is Working, Con: The Chemo is Working
Ellie & Daddy

Ellerie has begun to feels the effects of chemo. Her energy level has finally dropped, and hardest for my sister, her hair began to fall out. They bit the bullet yesterday and cut off the little bit that remains. It has finally become real that she is sick, like really really sick. At least the she likes the hair twiddling hat, and the hair was a perfect match.

Going Forward

Life keeps getting in the way of my plans. I want this to be a fun, positive, creative place but the things that are happening in my family are none of those things. Knitting has always been a comfort to me, but I’m having a hard time finding anything comforting.

I’m going to take some time to grieve and help my mom deal with the insane amount of stuff GG left behind, I’m going to go see Ellerie, and then I’m going to get my sh!t together and power through. This will be the last sad thing I post here. When I come back it’s only going to be about happiness and knitting and making beautiful things to share with lovely people.

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