My grandmother passed away today. Sadly the last time I saw her was at Pop's funeral in 1995. Soon after he passed away she moved to Hawaii to be closer to two of her children and her youngest grandchildren. I have thought about her often in the past, but somehow never connected with her personally again. No excuse makes the lost connection right.
So when this news came today, I felt. For our lives are filled with relationships and regardless of the length of time or if they are current or past, they all leave us feeling something. The complexity of feelings is often hard to explain, but we know we feel something, which is where I am today.
There are many interesting stories surrounding my Grandma’s life that I do not dare try to figure out what is fact or fiction. Instead I’ll focus on what I knew.
When I think of Grandma, I smell coffee. I can remember walking into their farmhouse and it smelled like coffee.
I can also remember writing something while at her house and her telling me to write it again… slower and neater…… sadly I still have sloppy handwriting.
I remember the red and white lottery cards she would give us to fill out each time we visited. We would get to choose our favorite numbers and fill in the little circles on the card so Pop could take them to the store.
I remember her huge ornate antique beds that I would get to sleep in when we spent the night. You had to have a running start to jump up into the bed and you were engulfed in fluffy softness when you landed. I remember pretending I was a princess.
I remember her house filled with antique couches, chairs, desks, tables and a player piano. Treasures that I never really saw as unique, but now wish I had. I remember her visiting once and saying how my cousin made her listen to “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard on the way to our house. And I remember her telling me…”You know that song is really not talking about sugar, right?”
I remember she completed her GED in her 60s.
I remember visiting her while Pop was in his last stages of cancer and painting her toenails for her.
I remember hugging her at Pop’s funeral without realizing that would be our last goodbye.
As 2010 approached I vowed to really live this year without regrets, letting fear not hold me back from asking, moving forward, or trying. I promised myself that I would intentionally show others I loved them whether through words, actions, or deeds. With Grandma’s passing today I am even more aware that I need to not be afraid to let someone know I care--whether this is through listening, crying with someone because they are hurting, embracing someone because they need to be touched, saying what needs to be said, laughing, dancing, singing, smiling, shouting, calling or writing.
I will love abundantly, seek to bring joy to others, and offer grace where I can.