This is one of my favorite photographs.
It’s my grandmother with her three youngest children: my mother and twin uncles. My mom was two years old at the time. She remembers my grandmother leaving for the hospital to have ‘the baby’. My grandmother returned home the next day but without a child. However, six weeks later, grandma left the house and came back with two babies. My mother was quite put out.
My grandmother passed away on Sunday. Although her health has been in severe decline for the past few months, it was still rather sudden. I was at Heathrow early Sunday morning when I heard the voicemail from my sister telling me that grandma was not waking up. I was on a tram in Rome later that day when I was informed of her passing.
My grandmother was a cool lady. She lived through the Depression, raised seven children and endured a husband, two sons and a handful of grandkids and great grandkids going off to war. She loved to dance and travel. She visited Greece with my parents shortly after they married and took a small stone from the Acropolis as a souvenir. (By the way, you’ll get shot if you try that today.) She cooked like nobody’s business and made the best grilled cheese sandwiches in the world. She taught me how to make her famed chocolate peanut butter balls too. She was a prolific knitter and seamstress until arthritis slowed her down. She made my baby quilt which I still have today, tucked away in a trunk for safekeeping.
Luckily I got to see and talk to my grandmother a couple of time recently via Skype. She had no idea what was going on and at first thought I was on television until my mom and sister explained to her how Skype worked. Then she was amazed that it didn’t cost us anything. To be fair, that still amazes me too.
Her funeral is tomorrow. I wanted to fly out for it, but my mother and sister convinced me otherwise. Being so far away is shitastic, but the wonder that is Skype provides some consolation.
Late Sunday night I checked my Google Reader and read about XC2’s wonderful news. It was rather comforting to learn that the same day my grandmother passed away, two little boys were born to another cool lady in the adjacent city. I won’t be so gauche as to call it the circle of life, but I will admit that The Lion King is my favorite Disney movie. :)
To my grandmother,
Thank you for being you—loving, comforting, funny, industrious and sometimes amazingly outspoken. I love the fact you used to talk back to the characters in ‘your stories’ or always knew what pages ‘the best parts’ were on in your romance novels. I am still in awe of the love you and grandpa had for each other, though admittedly I could have done without knowing some of the more intimate details of your relationship.
Thank you for always being proud of me even though I’m still in school, unemployed and didn’t spit out a great grandkid for you like the rest of my cousins. But really, once the number of rugrats went into double digits, I didn’t think you’d mind if I didn’t contribute to the stockpile.
I’m really sorry I have been away for so long and haven’t been around much to see you. I hope the sporadic postcards over the years were some consolation.
You gave me some of my best memories, Grandma, and I will always cherish them.
I love you so very much. I miss you terribly, but I am glad you are finally at peace.
With much love, hugs and chocolate peanut butter balls,
Your youngest grandchild, X.