Last week we lost our grandmother. We expected it, which I suppose was to help prepare us, but when the time came- she was ready, but I don’t think those of us who loved her could have ever been prepared. We miss her.
It is the little things that I find myself thinking about now- her color-coordinated outfits, her white Easy Spirit shoes, the fact that if you got into a car after her the seat would be at a ninety degree angle, the way the entire side of her face twitched up when she sniffed, her clear nail polish and ridiculously soft hands. I will remember how she kept spice drops in her ceramic flower-pot for my children, walked them around on her walker, and read them the toy catalog. I will remember her love of a slice of pepperoni pizza and a candy bar, preferably Snickers, and really, she preferred anything sweet. I will remember her “gotcha” look when she had a witty, sarcastic comment- eyes wide, mouth sideways with a click…
The little things don’t seem enough, but when all together they made this woman that we all loved so very much. The idea of not seeing her again is heartbreaking. I am grateful for the time I did get. I am grateful for the memories of which she is almost always there, from growing up, to graduations, to my wedding, to the birth of my children. I am grateful she was able to snuggle, butt pat and nap with two of my children. I know there are a lot of people who will try to make up for the fact that she won’t be doing that for the third. I am grateful I was able to whisper to her that her eighth great-grandchild will be a boy, which, funny how things work, is the complete opposite dynamic of her grandchildren (7 boys, 1 girl versus 7 girls, 1 boy). I am grateful for her and I couldn’t be prouder to have just a little part of her in me.
This last week was spent at the hospital with family. Of that, I am also grateful. When do you get to take time to spend with those who have most of the same memories? To laugh at the fact that ALL of her grandchildren were terrified of the giant chest freezer or that we all remember being goofy at the pool, the pickle ball court, or bike riding in the church parking lot. I got to grow up with these people my grandmother made and for that, I am grateful- we all turned out okay, she was a big part of it.
This weekend there will be life celebrations- more tears shed and more laughter had. It will all be shared with the people closest to us- who also have a bit of this fine lady inside them- and I am sure, that is just how she would have wanted it. And with sweets to go around. Grandma, you will be missed, but, we know, you just couldn’t help it.