My grandmother, Jo Massey, has lived with Alzheimer's for the last few years. While she was in good health for many years, her mind was not where it used to be. What I remember most about JoJo is her story telling. When we were younger, she would tell us stories of her and the family growing up as our bedtime stories. She always had a Southern flair to add to those stories. Most included something on a farm or food. Getting older in life, I've been informed that I may have combined and embellished some stories in my mind. My grandfather was not a bootlegger, he did however drive a fast car!
JoJo brought her Southern hospitality and charm from Alabama to Chicago, St. Louis, and Louisville. I never saw her without her pocketbook and lipstick tube. She opened her house to anyone that needed a meal or a hug. When our family moved to Louisville from Memphis, she opened her bedrooms to us for over a year even though she was already overwhelmed with her own Mother-in-law and husband's care. She even taught me to drive when my own parents were too scared to get in the car with me.
Even in her last week here on earth, JoJo was a light to those around her. She continued to be silly and loving. Brody loved getting to spend time with JoJo and her friends at the nursing home dancing, singing, and playing ball. She left us with memories to last a lifetime and lessons that only a grandmother can fill you with.
Jojo and Brody had a special bond from the beginning. I was the first grand daughter to give her a great grand child. She was so excited at all of my showers and all of the preparations. My mom watches Brody during the work day for Jordan and I. Before Brody started preschool in August, they visited with JoJo almost everyday. They gained a special relationship. JoJo could be having a bad day, but the moment Brody stopped by, she would light up. Even within the last month when she barely talked and seemed like she wasn't paying attention, she would become giddy when Brody entered to entertain her.
We will miss JoJo very much, but know that she is reunited with her family and heaven is rejoicing!