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Monday, August 18, 2008

Grandma Dusty and Grieving

Grandma Dusty......... In the land fiction and fancy Rachael "Dusty" Bryson is a physicist, former member of a NASA think tank, and the Commander of an interstellar black-ops fleet with ships named with a religious theme: Pious, Integrity, Faith, Wisdom, Knowledge, Esteem, Irreverent, Glorious, Redemption, and Ruby (a cookie to anyone who knows the virtue reference there). Her grand-nephew, MC John Bryson in Bryson Anomaly, inherits her house, her car, and her ship when she dies.

In real life Grandma Dusty (a nickname she picked up after falling off her horse) died Friday of complications from lung cancer. She was 75. The real Grandma Dusty was a hero too. She was born in San Diego, California, and married a sailor from New York. She's lived in most the coastal areas in the US and in Guam. She raised her family in Hawaii before it was a state. She buried her only son was he was 19.

Her only daughter (also born in San Diego) married a man also from New York and settled on a small farm to raise three children. The youngest is my husband.

I know being a military spouse is hard. Grandma Dusty was one during the Cold War before there were things like the Internet and cartoons to keep kids busy. She was born in 1933 and survived all the wars that came after. She was cheerful and giving. Her favorite activity was watching birds on her back porch and talking with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

In the book Grandma Dusty's sudden death pushes John to consider accepting alien invasion as a way to prevent future deaths from cancer and disease.

In real life Grandma Dusty survived the first wave of cancer but relapsed after a year. A stroke affected her memory and her will to keep fighting.

In the book Grandma Dusty survives. Her death was fraudulent and she's found in a prison camp behind enemy lines.

In real life Grandma Dusty is being laid to rest today in the graveyard on Ridge Road, next to her son. Her husband and daughter will have to say good-bye and go to whatever comfort and solace their faith can give them.

In the book there's a happy ending.

In real life.... it depends on your point of view. Either we all have a terrible ending or death is a small step on an eternal journey. Regardless, Grandma Dusty will be missed while she's away from us.


  1. I'm sorry for your loss. She sounds as if she were a fabulous woman. What a fitting tribute to immortalize her in fiction.

  2. Ditto exactly what Joan Reeves said. This is a great post!

  3. We're torn between being happy that she isn't in pain, and sad she isn't here to spend more time with us.... I like the way the book ends better.

  4. Hugs and prayers for you and your family!
    grieving [:cookie:].

  5. Li, you're tearing me up. Beautiful post, and very movingly written. Thank you.