When you think of your grandma, how would you describe her? My Dad’s mom, who we all call Grandma, could be described as the quintessential Grandmother. Always smiling, eager for her great-grandchildren to dance, act silly and just be kids. Visiting her at her home is never a quiet visit. She loves her Price is Right on the loudest setting, and would think nothing of my kids hooting and hollering, laughing and jumping around. The rowdier the better time we all would have.
Growing up, my Dad and I would visit her and Grandpa almost every week. She taught me how to play Gin Rummy, make paper airplanes and hats. We would walk to the local drug store and buy candy or get ice cream at the local diner. Every now and then I would go to Saturday Mass with her, always sitting in the same pew. I cannot think of ever a time when she didn’t make me feel special or for that matter loved.
When I resigned from teaching, I was able to reconnect more with my family. Looking back now, it was a blessing and I would not change leaving my job for a second. I was able to bring Mr.S and Miss F and visit her more often and watch them make her smile and laugh. I now can look at all those pictures I snapped on those visits and see that every single one had her laughing and my kids rolling on the floor. Those are priceless moments forever captured. Moments in time.
I never fully appreciated or recognized how amazingly strong and loving my Grandma was until I became a mother. Life has a way of handing you devastation unexpectedly , and how you learn to process a new life through grief and try to find joy in a new way of living can be unbearable or impossible for many. A feat that no one ever wants to imagine facing. She did exactly that for most of her life after the loss of her beloved daughter. Every holiday, special family event, or any normal day, she showed us all love and happiness despite how deeply she missed and grieved her daughter. A lesson we can all follow in our lives when we sweat the small stuff.
Her love of her family showed in her requests for a quick picture at every visit. Her walls adorned with photos of her family.
Our Grandma passed away on August 16th at 91 years young. Exactly one month ago. I find myself putting on Price is Right at 11 weekdays, because I know that that is what she would have on if she were still here. As we celebrated her life on a warm beautiful cloudless sky a few weeks ago, I could not help but feel comforted knowing that she was with her daughter and Grandpa. I decided to make a conscious effort from then on to SMILE, LAUGH and CHERISH what I have just the way she lived every single day of her life.
I love you Grandma.