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Caregiving

Dear Kay,
It’s late on the evening of July Fourth. Hubbo’s grandfather Albert died yesterday, at the age of 96, so we have spent the day in a combination of bereavement, cheese platters, and fireworks. It’s what happens when you have an aged grandparent and two small boys.
On Friday, I went to the hospital to see Albert. He wasn’t awake, but there was a lot of life in his room that morning. I visited with Cynethia and Robbie, the women who were taking care of him.
Cynethia was working on a crochet bag for a friend’s baby. She told me that she learned to crochet when she took care of a lady who had broken her collarbone and wore a big cast. In a moment of high coincidence, Cynethia broke her arm and ended up in a cast too. The woman taught her to crochet, showing her how to wedge a crochet hook into the end of her cast. Cynethia said she had trouble getting the hang of crochet once she had to do it cast-free.
Robbie isn’t a knitter, but oh, man, can she sing. Back at his apartment, where she took care of him full time, Robbie would sing to Albert the songs he loved. Robbie had been a singer with Bobby Jones Gospel for many years, and along the way had backed up Ray Charles. As we sat in Albert’s room, Robbie took his hand and let loose, low and slow:
Summertime,
And the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’
And the cotton is high
Your daddy’s rich
And your mamma’s good lookin’
So hush little baby
Don’t you cry
Albert loved Gershwin and Cole Porter and was the jazziest pianist you ever heard. I can only imagine the pleasure Robbie gave him with her silvery, rich voice.
Love,
Ann

19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Ann, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Cynethia and Robbie sound like remarkable women. Albert was fortunate to have such lively women to care for him. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. Take care.

  2. Ann,
    I’m so sorry for you and your family. Take care of yourselves.

  3. Love and condolences to you and your family.

  4. Condolences to you and your family. It sounds as though Albert led a rich life full of love from friends and family.

  5. What a lovely eulogy. I can hear Robbie’s voice, even though I’ve never heard it before.

  6. Now you’ve gone and made me cry. Condolences to you and yours.
    Wendy P

  7. Ann, I’m so sorry for you and your husband; that’s quite a loss. At the same time, I’m thinking to myself “Ann knows one of the Ray-lettes. Wow.”

  8. If you have to go, this would seem to be one of the best ways to do it. You must celebrate his life, as well as mourn his death. Love to you all, Jill.

  9. Ann,
    Best wishes, and 96 is a fabulous age to live to. Remember the good times!
    K

  10. My thoughts are with you, Ann and your post moved me to tears.
    xoxo
    Sheila

  11. Dear Ann,
    Oh to be loved like that!
    I read the piece in the local paper about Albert, but did not make the connection to you and your husband. It sounds like he had a wonderful, long life.
    I am sorry for your family’s loss.
    Robin

  12. Aw Ann,
    I doubt that even in Nashville, many get sung out of this world in the style Albert did.
    I had a little laughter through tears (the official emotion of MDK) at Donnna’s mention of the Ray-lettes.
    Hope it’s a good time, even if a sad time.
    love, Kay

  13. Dear Ann,
    my condolences for your and your family’s loss.

  14. Ann- My thoughts are with you and your family in your grief. Glad you got to celebrate Albert’s life with real style on last time.

  15. It sounds like you had a bittersweet holiday weekend, Ann. I’m sorry for your family’s loss and inspired by your gift for counting your blessings. Best, Cristina

  16. Condolensces to you and Hubbo.

  17. To you and yours I send love and light. May the music that was such a part of Albert’s life and last moments bring back smiles to your hearts. Take care

  18. Ann I’m so sorry for your and your family’s loss. It sounds like there will be many good things to reflect on in Albert’s life and I hope they can bring you some comfort.
    Love & hugs

  19. deepest sympathy for your family. your post was lovely to read, sad and sweet.
    take care
    KAF