Sunday, July 17, 2011

Saying Goodbye

carnationI don’t even know how to start this post. 

Quite simply, my grandmother passed away last week.  She was 80, she had some health issues but still it came as a complete shock to her family.  I’ve been quiet this week as I’ve tried to deal with the suddenness of her death. 

And yet, everyday life continues which makes it almost easy to push her death to the back of my mind.  With three children it’d be hard not to be caught up in their constant whirlwind and yet… its effect on me is there in so many small ways.

I feel for my mother who had been caring for my grandmother for the past several years. While she was still independent living in a small trailer on my parent’s property, she still needed some watching over. 

My grandmother was ornery, sometimes cantankerous and often blunt.  She drove my mother crazy at times and yet, I think it’s the most difficult people in our lives that we love the most.  It must be such a hole in her life right now, not having to think about grandma and what she’s doing.

I never viewed my grandmother as a warm motherly woman and yet, I enjoyed her gruff ways and her sharp views on life.  When my mother had me, grandma was still raising two children at home.  She really wasn’t the doting grandmother type.  She never told me she was proud of me to my face but my husband said in talking with her, it was more than evident that she thought a lot of me. 

She once gave me teacups that had been used to serve tea at her wedding more than 50 years ago.  Because I loved tea cups and she knew that of all the grandchildren, I would take care of them.  I have a note from her, in her scratchy almost illegible handwriting that I will keep always. 

Because life gets busy, it’d probably been almost a month since I’d last seen her.  Like most people who lose loved ones, I wish I had one more day with her. 

At least, the last day we did have was a pleasant one as she joined us for lunch at my mother’s and sat outside and chatted while we watched my kids play. 

My kids never caught on to the great-grandma bit and simply called her “old nana” (my mom being “nana”). When we told my oldest what had happened she was saddened by the fact that she now has no great grandparents on either side of the family.  She didn’t realize how lucky she was to have known at least one great grandma since most of us are having our kids so much later these days.

Of course, it could be worse.. she could have no grandmas… like me.  I miss my grandmas.

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