She was frail but fighting. She would smile and deflect questions about herself by asking how "life" was going for me. She couldn't speak due to the tubing in her throat so she pointed to the alphabet page to spell out her words. It was a time to bond. If only I realized then that those few hours I spent with her would be the most important I ever did. Why didn't I ask her about her life? Why didn't I ask what her childhood was like? Or if she had a wedding photo from the day she married my grandpa? Why? Why couldn't I have just been older and wiser on that final day I spent with my grandma?? These are questions I ask myself often..
15 years ago today, my paternal grandma passed away after a long, hard battle with her own body. She was my first death, my first heartbreak. I was 13..
I don't know who she really was, I don't know what her daily thoughts were but I do know this:
A) she was an amazing woman
B) she was a wonderful wife and mother
C) she was a farm girl growing up
D) she lived for her family
E) she loved the lake
F) she loved lilacs and peonies
G) she used to dance the swing; and
H) she had polio in her early twenties and hater having her photo taken (thus making my record keeping of her very hard to do!)
My grandma at her graduation in 1945
My grandma was always there growing up and I wish every day that she was still here to learn from. My memories of her have faded but I can still remember her laugh, the way she held her head up while leaning against the kitchen table with a cigarette hanging from her lips and the hugs she used to give every time we said goodbye. She lived in a different time and I admired her so much! Life is hard and unfair but if there is one thing her loss has taught me is that family is everything and always will be to me. It is hard without her here but I know she's watching over all of us, every day.
And grandma, if you're listening, I really miss you...