This is where I talk about G.
G is Roberta Tarble Brooks. She lived in Chewelah, Washington until this weekend. She died on Saturday. I think she actually died earlier, but her body didn’t know it yet.
I have alot of memories of G, but right now my favorite is this:
I drove from Portland to Chewelah in March in the snow with my 2 year old daughter because I suddenly got very fearful that G would die very soon. I felt I couldn’t wait a month. It took 7 hours. I arrived at 9:30 at night. I stopped by the home where they were caring for her and thought I probably wouldn’t be able to see her, but thought what the heck. It’s not like she has to be up early in the morning. The lady said it would be the best thing in the world for her to see me.
I went inthe room. G had been going downhill slowly and quickly for several years. Last year she broke her back 2 times. The first time she healed, and the second time just about took the wind out of her sails. About a week before I came the doctor said she wouldn’t make it through the night. Well, she did and went on to live another couple months. G was 85 or so. When I arrived, she was seldom waking up, barely getting food, and had lost her ability to take care of her personal needs. She slept all day. She stared out the window at the birds eating from the feeders outside her room when she was awake. She could no longer hold the phone to talk. She had grown incredibly weak and to know her was to know how unacceptable this was to her.
When I arrived after my long drive, A crawled up on the bed and I sat down. I stroked her hand and she woke up. When she saw me and A, she got an enormous smile on her face. That is how I want to remember G.
She didn’t really speak the rest of the time, she was far too tired. She knew we were there. When I told her that I couldn’t call her because the phone wasn’t staying put on her ear, she said “Well I guess we’ll just have to go to Radio Shack and get a new one,” That was the only thing she said, really.
G was a matriarch. She was a gardener and a farmer and a lover of the natural world. She became Christian by baptism when she was about 80. This is the kind of mind she had, it worked very, very well. Sometimes I think she loved her animals more than her brood. She was a lover of cooking and an avid reader and writer.
When I was little, I really just wanted her to pay attention to me and bake me cookies. She was my only G, and that is how I wanted her to be. But she was not. It took me till I was in my 20s or so to see how cool she actually was. How she was one who gave me many parts of my nature. We didn’t always get along, she could be ornery. I could be awkward with her. I wasn’t on her wavelength and I knew it.
Still G was an amazing woman. I feel lucky she was my forebear. I am glad for many things, I am glad she was released from this world, but I will miss her herness.
Bye Bye G.