Deviant since Sep 11, 2008 | Core Member until Mar 22, 2019
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Memorial Video Added: It was never supposed to be a funeral video... Just a gift for her of her favorite song in a timeline of her life... I wanted her to see it, but she died before I made it... So... It became her funeral video...
For a month and a few weeks now, My grandmother Mary Josephine (Jo) Richards has been battling death... We really don't know what took her. I wrack my brain around it constantly trying to figure out the puzzle. Beyond everything she had, there was nothing active that the doctors could find that was killing her. I fully believe it was systematic Candida, based on a comment she told me and the way she went, and how everything just went like a snap of a finger in a month from being so strong after her heart attack, to deteriorating a little bit every day... no matter what medical, alternative, or archaic methods we tried to help her come back... Till the end to where she finally went, right after my Aunt Donna Haugen read her scriptures and prayed that Jehovah end her suffering, when she took her last breath just as "in Jesus Christ our saviors name we pray, amen" was said... If that isn't a sign of faith and that God is listening, I don't know what is...
But the details of what killed her and such aren't that important.
What's important is to get out there, just what kind of person she was. Who she was to me, my family, and everyone around.
I can't tell you her entire life, I now sit here wishing I had asked more questions, and had her give me an entire autobiography. I can tell you at one point she was a cowgirl and rode bulls, I can tell you she did hair, nails, and other jobs through her entire life. I can tell you she was born and raised in Texas. And I can tell you she was a Jehovah's Witness, devout as much as she could possibly be, attempting to go out in service even when she was ill, continuing her faith even when her husband threatened her or yelled and fought with her when she attended meeting at the Kingdom Hall....
I can tell you things like that, and they would have little meaning to many, as just another Person in this world, that if you weren't family, it wouldn't hit you. Those details, as important as they are, don't really describe who she was.
Who she was? The most admirable qualities about her?
She cared. She cared about everyone. She raised 6 kids (5 when her son passed) and after that, she raised grandchild after grandchild, and even friends of her children as they would stay around the house. She raised me, my sister, part of my other sister. She raised my cousin, my sisters husband (partly), and many many others.... She saw these people with no where to go, no one to turn to, and no one to call mom, and she reached out to them and raised them, cared for them, gave them a home and love and someone to lean on.
...Someone to lean on. Even if she didn't raise them, she would always welcome them to call her with questions, and concerns. Advice for life, money, help... She never turned anyone down, never told them to tough it on their own, never stopped caring....
Even when her husband abused her. Even when family members stole from her, her jewelry, her heirlooms, her sentimental belongings. Even when they back-stabbed her, betrayed her, never paid her back, and never showed caring. Even when they literally said they hated her and didn't need her help anymore (but always ran back)....
Even after that, she never... would NEVER abandon them. She never held grudges. Never hated anyone. Never turned them out even after all they did to wrong her or stress her out or bring her nothing but grief. She took Jehovah God's and his son Jesus's quality of forgiveness, and she held to it. She was there for family, families friends, and anyone she possibly could be.
She was literally the rock of our family, the foundation that it stood upon. Even when we didn't get along or hated each other. She was always there, always keeping it together, always fighting it...
And speaking of fighting...
She fought for 10 (or 12) long years of Cancer. Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia, a rare form of Multiple Myeloma that's related to Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, a cancer she had had and fought and won against earlier in her life. They gave her maybe 6 months to a year to live with WM, and she came back and was still alive and so they said a little more time, and she kept coming back. Eventually they just wondered why she wasn't dead yet.
She fought it, she was determined to live. When the medical things failed her, she denied chemo and she went completely alternative. Keeping herself on a strict diet, strict supplements, all kinds of things she researched, taught herself about, and put into affect to keep herself alive... On top of the cancer she had Congested Heart Failure, Von Von Willebrand Bleeding Disorder, COPD, and Atrial Fib. She was literally a walking contradiction that one wondered how she was still alive. But she kept fighting and taking care of herself for years. And her fight wasn't a sad one at all.
She would travel to places like Africa, and other countries with my aunt. She would go to Texas all the time, and go to meeting, the store, and live her life healthy, and strong as she possibly could. She kept going and fought all the way to the end... Even a few weeks away from death, she laughed when my family said she wasn't going to make it through when they couldn't find anything and said it was just an illness, that they were putting her in the grave too early and she'd get through it....
...And now, even now she'd probably laugh that it took her literally dying for her children (my Aunt) to finally read the bible and accept her faith after years of wanting them to....
This was the person she was.
This was the grandmother that raised me when I had nowhere else to go. The grandmother who may have sheltered me, but kept me from doing drugs, being in jail, or being another statistical teen out there, miserable, pregnant or getting an abortion. This is the grandmother who would sit with me and hold me through anxiety attacks. This is the grandmother who was a fighter. A role model. The stone of my family. And the guardian angel to us all.
This is the grandmother that I truly loved as a mother, and in her last days as she admitted, she saw me as her own daughter.
This is the grandmother that gave and did so much for me... that even if she and I had lived forever, that I could never repay her back.
...This is the the grandmother, mother, and caregiver to me, my family, and everyone who knew her.
...This is only a little bit, as I couldn't possibly describe everything, of who Mary Josephine Richards was.
I had to get something off my my external HDDs, which lead to me re-reading a ton of old RP logs and chats. As seen with the last doodle of Kanji, it also made me want to doodle some of my old characters from that time (2005-2007). At least the ones that had complete designs. Others I have kinda revised.