Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Grandmother's Hug

These past several weeks have been tough. My 88 year-old grandmother passed away just over 2 weeks ago now. The good news is that she didn't suffer. The bad news is that she is not in our lives anymore. She was with us, living on her own, still managing her business and making her mark on my own children's lives up until the very end.

I lived 15 minutes away from my grandmother all 39-1/2 years of my life. I was lucky enough to grow up swimming, having slumber parties, graduation parties, and celebrating all holidays at her and my grandfather's home. I even lived with them for close to a year. They took us (my mother, sister, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) on multiple camping trips and adventures to Disneyland in a motor home people dream about. I cannot imagine how I am going to feel come July 4th, Thanksgiving, and the grand highlight of the year - Christmas.

These days, not many of us are lucky enough to have our own children get to meet and enjoy knowing their great-grandparents. Though my daughter and niece are probably too young, my son and nephew will always remember learning to swim in her pool, playing pinball and pool in her basement, and tearing open presents under her tree on Christmas Eve. I knew I was lucky. I didn't think I took her for granted. But now that she's gone, I long for more time, more words, and more memories.

My grandmother was not the most social woman, but her door was always open. Her home was always clean. Her cabinets were always full of every kind of food; from breakfast to dessert, to midnight snacks and a drink for everyone. Her face was always smiling with delight for her visitors; from the first step through her front door to the last wave as we drove out of sight upon departure. The example she set for me instilled a strong value of family and unconditional love that I only hope I can make far surpass my own time here on Earth. In short, Grandma, I love you. Grandma, I miss you. Grandma, thank you. Grandma, I will make you proud. Grandma, I will carry on your legacy. The profound influence you have been on me goes far beyond my ability to communicate it into words. Rest in peace and please give Grandpa a hug for me.