Today I'm celebrating the birth of my grandmother, Louise Mayhew Russell Swanson, March 13, 1899. I've posted this story of the day she died several times and I'm sharing it again. It's now a regular thing, celebrated with pink balloons. Some of you remember her, so enjoy. Most of you do not so take this moment to remember someone in your own life who deserves a few pink balloons. Then maybe share that person with me?
My family made a special tribute to MomMom without planning it.
My middle name is Russell.
Jessie's is Mayhew.
and Molly's is Louise. Put us all together and we spell...
so here's the story;
My grandmother, Louise Mayhew Russell Swanson, we called her MomMom, died at home early in the morning on my daughter Jessie’s 7th birthday. We were there, and after several hours of phone calls and business, after the doctor and the undertaker had left, I looked at Jessie and thought, this little girl needs a celebration.
So I drove to town to buy a cake, then went to the party store and bought 7 pink balloons and one purple to grow on.
I headed out the door. The spiky chandelier in the entryway caught a balloon and POP!
I went back, they replaced it for free and I headed out again, this time holding my bouquet very low. On the street, I passed a woman with a lit cigarette and POP!
I went back to the store and this time I paid for the replacement. I headed out again, holding the balloons in a tight cluster. As they rubbed against each other, they heated up, the air and helium inside expanded just like we learned in fourth-grade science class and POP!
I went back. They were not happy to see me. I asked the helium person not to fill them quite so full and she looked at me like I was speaking a strange language. I finally got the balloons to the car and put them in the back seat.
They rose up and completely filled the back window, blocking my view. I backed out of the angle parking space VERY cautiously and ever so gently tapped an on-coming car. A crabby old man got out to inspect his fender and then drove off ignoring my profuse apologies. I wanted to say to him, “Mister, if you only know the day I’m having...”
I drove home carefully and we had a party in the midst of planning a funeral.
MomMom loved the Bible and Jesus, and she held an unshakable faith in the resurrection. In her circle Death was referred to as “Going Home.” Sojourner Truth said at the end of her life; “I’m not dying--I’m going home like a shooting star!”
I like to think MomMom went home like a burst of pink balloons.
March 12, 2022