Friday, August 17, 2012


Lorene Carmack Buck, my last remaining grandmother, passed away this morning of complications from pneumonia. She was 96 years old.

Lorene Carmack Buck, early portrait
Grandma was a study in contrasts. She had a terrible case of scarlet fever as a child and was not expected to live through it, yet she ended up outliving several of her siblings, her husband and one of her sons. She missed her home state of Tennessee terribly, yet she lived out most of her adult life in Indiana, even when she could have chosen to move back. She was not particularly demonstrative to her sons, but never failed to tell her grandchildren that she loved them. She could be grouchy, cantankerous and demanding, but she was also feisty and hilarious, with a fantastic sense of humor right to the end.

And she was afraid of death, but in the end she went peacefully. Since I firmly believe that death is not the end of our existence, I suspect she may have had an early glimpse of the place where she was going. Nothing earth-shaking, just the kind of view you get when you're riding a bike down through the twists and turns of a mountain canyon, and you make that final turn into the canyon's mouth and catch first sight of the valley spread out below you, and you realize there's nothing really frightening about it -- it's just a chance for another adventure.

Still waiting to hear news of funeral arrangements.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

My condolences!