At Christmas, I had the opportunity to spend good time with her. Knowing that it would be the last time I saw her in person, I went exploring through all the drawers and cabinets of the house, looking for pictures or other treasures that might help me gain a fuller picture of her life. I was delighted to find black and white photos, snapshots of her childhood, of falling in love, of having kids. I was honored to ask her about the photos and hear her stories. I was privileged to prepare lunches for her on multiple occasions, knowing how many things she had done for me growing up. She was impressed that I memorized her vitamin regimen and would bring them out with her food. Wasn’t that hard, but made me feel good anyway. And that’s what she always did. Made us feel good. Got excited about the smallest details of our lives. Made us feel like what we did and who we were was important.
I was honored to help her walk, sit down, go to the chiropractor, get her food or drink, even take her to the bathroom on occasion. Privacy goes out the door as death approaches. The normal formalities and facades are ignored as you walk with someone at the end of the path, and it seems that a rawness, a realness of life is the reality. Every slow step. Every breathe. Every heartbeat is something to behold!
I’m proud of my grandma for running the race and finishing it well. And I’m proud of my mom and dad and sister for being with her every step of the way, even at the final hour.
Grandma, you are loved and will be truly missed. Thanks for your generous, selfless, joyful self. I hope I somehow inherit those qualities. Today, I honor and celebrate your beautiful life. Miss you already.