Saturday, December 31, 2011

Rest in Peace Grandma

Paula Ann Clark

Des Moines

Paula, 62, passed away December 27, 2011 at Iowa Methodist Medical Center after a lengthly illness. Born in Ottumwa she had lived most of her life in Des Moines. Until 2009 Paula had worked for TMC Trucking in Des Moines. Preceding her in death are her parents Paul and Gloria Harris. Surviving is her husband of 46 years Bud Clark; daughters, Gloria Clark (Chuck), Shannette Williams (Tim), Carrmann Uhl (James), Toni Lopez-Santos (Antonio), Danielle Clark (Nathan), and Brenda White (Doug); 20 grandchildren, three great- grandchildren; brother Tony Harris (Kristin); two sisters Candy Avila (Daniel) and Angel Lisk (Matt). Funeral services will be held Saturday December 31, 2011 at Faith Independent Assembly of God Church located at SW 14th and Payton Ave. in Des Moines. Paulas' body will lie in state from 5 to7 p.m. Friday at Peterson funeral home in Carlisle. Burial will follow in Elm Grove Cemetery in Des Moines. Memorials may be made to the family of Paula.

My mom's mother passed away 2 days after Christmas. I have many cherished memories of my grandma.

The one that really sticks out in my mind was in the summer of 2010. Grandma and Grandpa had a membership to a campground and spent most of the summer in the camper. I came out to my parents in August of 2009, by Christmas that year only one of my aunts knew. In February of 2010 I started dating J and after that everyone else knew too. I had heard from one of my aunts that my grandma was not happy that I'm a lesbian. She believed that homosexuality is a sin. I was upset but at that time she and I weren't particularly close. That summer I was visiting Grandma, Grandpa, two of my aunts and several of my cousins at the campground. I was talking about my fairly recent break-up with J and after that conversation Grandma realized that my relationship with J was just like any other relationship. We broke up for similar reasons that any young couple would break-up over and it still hurt the same. That day she told me that I changed her view of the gay community and that she loved and accepted me because I was her grand-daughter and she loved me. When anyone asked her about me she told them that I was happy and that's all that matters. If anyone said anything about me, she defended me. On LGBT spirit day in October 2010 she wore her purple flannel.

She always wore a flannel shirt with pockets on the front. Even in her casket she was wearing a purple flannel and had her tube of chap-stick and bottle of "nitros" in her pocket. Grandma had heart problems. When I was little she had a quintuple bypass surgery. More recently she had kidney problems. She was on dialysis a few days a week. Within this past year her kidneys completely shutdown and she was on dialysis seven days a week and had the equipment for home dialysis. I'm going to miss her but I know she isn't sick anymore. The hospital visits and the suffering are over.