My grandma passed away this morning....early this morning at 3am. It's something we've been expecting for awhile now, so it didn't come as an immediate shock. Death is a tricky thing, isn't it? There are so many feelings wrapped up in it. Of course, the immediate feeling that comes is dammit I miss her so much and there would never be a good time for her to go. I'd give anything just to have a few more years with her, a few more days with her. But I'd want them to be good days too for her sake because there's another part of me that knew it was her time to go. Her body had just shut down to the point where she didn't have a good quality of life and there's a strange feeling of peace that comes too knowing that she's not suffering anymore.
I know so many of us say this about our grandmothers, and maybe it's partly because of the times that they grew up in, I don't know....maybe it's because of the memories some of us have of being mothered by them as a child...but my grandma was the best. I wish everyone had the experience I had with my grandma because it was a true gift. A 33 year long gift. I always felt an extra close bond with my grandma. I was the grandchild that had a special nickname for her because I couldn't say "grandma" when I was a kid, so she was always my "gunna". Her birthday was May 10th, mine May 11th, so we shared our birthdays and often celebrated together on Mother's Day too.
My grandma never failed to put a smile on my face. She could take the biggest problem in the world and deduce it to something I didn't have to worry about without being dismissive. My grandma was concerned without ever complaining. That's the lesson I want to take from her more than anything. Her children all struggled (and still do) with addiction. She lost one of her sons at age 46. Her husband died 30 years ago. She watched all 3 of her sisters die. She was never rich, in fact, she lived at the poverty level. She was in chronic pain for the last 10 years and for the last 5 years was always either in a wheelchair or a bed. I could go on with the things that we look at as negative...well the things that ARE negative...there's no way around them. But those aren't the things that she would tell you about herself.
I never once in my life heard my grandma complain about a single thing. That's a literal statement. Not only that, but she gave to others whenever and what little she could, even if it was just good advice, a hug, a cup of tea or some dessert (she loved her sweets!). She was honest to a fault sometimes, lol. I could always count on my grandma to tell me when I needed to lose some weight :p I'll miss that and so will my waist! She had a personality that just warmed you from the inside and lit you up. You'd see she was in pain sometimes and ask her what was wrong and her response was always "eh, I'm just getting old". Down to her last days she wouldn't take medication for anything, though she did have medication to help her in the end.
I could literally write a book, multiple volumes on the specific memories I have of her, but I won't do that here. I'm lucky to have those with me and know that I'll always carry them with me. I'm still doing the readathon tomorrow! It looks like her funeral will probably be Wednesday so tomorrow will be a welcome distraction. I want to donate to a charity in memory of my grandma and spent the day thinking of which charity I want to donate to. I finally decided on the Human Rights Campaign. I was never out to my grandma because I never felt like I had to be. From the day I was born, my grandma loved me unconditionally and that's something that I never questioned for a second. I wish more people had that in their lives and the Human Rights Campaign strives to achieve that, so I'm going to donate 5 cents for every page read to them in memory of my grandma with a goal of $50 or 1,000 pages. We'll see how I do!
Miss you grandma and love you.