a goodbye to grammy

Last weekend my 96 year old Grammy passed away. 

I'm having a slight difficulty in writing this because there were two versions of my grandmother in my memory. There is the rounder, younger and much healthier version. The Grammy who lived walking distance away from us in Maine. The Grammy who was like a second mother. "Only three fig newtons Laurie!" type of Grammy. The Grammy I would watch old Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies with and have sleepovers with. And then there was the Grammy later in life... The last ten years have not been easy on her. But she’s tough as nails and she stayed with us. From her coma to several breaks and falls and surgeries, she was still here. Having to leave her home for a nursing home was not easy for her but it was a physical necessity. It was a safety thing. And lately you could just tell... she was done. She had had enough. And I cannot blame her. Since I stopped working almost ten years ago I have spent every Monday (not as often lately as her health deteriorated) with her and my mom... but I wish my last visit with her could have gone better... And try as I might I know I won’t be able to forget it. But I do know this: I told her I loved her twice (the second time she responded that she loved me too, so thankful for that tiny miracle) and then she told me that she wanted to go home. And she is home, finally. I can only imagine her joy to finally be reunited with my Poppop after twenty-nine years apart. 
What a long life! The Depression, WWII, the Civil Rights Movement... I mean I can’t even! The things she has lived through in her life! Have a surgery on the kitchen table of your home kind of childhood (true story). She was German through and through. Tough, sensible, no-nonsense type. She was constantly amazed by what I could look up in my “little box” aka my iPhone... She would break out into songs and little jingles from seventy years ago at completely random times... Singly loudly for all to hear. She was stubborn. She loved birds and flowers (Chickadees and Hellebore are two that stick out to me). She would call out “woohoo!” whenever she wanted to get one of the kid's attention... We have home videos of her from when I was a kid and man did she hate it when my dad brought out the video camera! So of course, he got a kick out of that. Her and David were the absolute cutest to watch when he was a toddler... I used to say he was like her spirit animal or something (not that she would believe in such things heavens to Besty no!)! She was conservative and old-fashioned... She didn’t even have her ears pierced! I used to love waking up in her house in Maine to the smell of thin pancakes! I’ll never smell them and not think of her. She loved her great-grandbabies and I'm so glad that she got to meet them and hold them and love them! She watched far too many people of her generation leave this earth... so for many reasons, I'm glad for her. I'm relieved for her. Not that that makes it any easier on those of us still here! But the world somehow keeps on spinning.

Years ago, when my other Grandma passed away and my mom was sick she used to call me to check in... and she would tell me to focus on my kids. I was a mom and even though things seemed to be falling down around me she told me to worry about my kids. Focus on them. Take care of them. No nonsense. Just do what must be done. So that’s what I did. And that's what I’ll do again once more...

Here are just a few little photographic moments in quite the long and full life....









We love you so very much Grammy! Rest easy now...



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2 comments

  1. I am so truly sorry. I'm so glad you got one of the good grandmothers!

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  2. I am so sorry to hear about your Grammy. Holding your sweet family in thought and prayers. What a beautiful tribute to her. I can tell how special she was.

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