Tuesday, August 09, 2011

(Great) Grandma

Yikes! It's been almost three months since I posted! What is happening to me?? Actually, some good things and some bad things are happening to me, but I'm taking it all in stride for now. When it comes to writing though, my thoughts tend build up while I am driving or out at a special event -- and some times on a rare solo excursion. Of course I have all the words when I am nowhere near a computer. Then I sit down, and they are gone.

As I know I've touched on before, it's especially hard to come up with words for the difficult times, like the passing of a loved one, which really halted my efforts this June. Brian's grandmother passed away just before her 90th birthday, and even though I only saw her here and there, through the years, she was one of those rare treasures of a person whose kindness wrapped up all those around her with a sort of comfort reminiscent of childhood dependence on unconditional love and tender care, and I loved her. She reminded me of my own great grandmother the very first time I met her, roughly fourteen years ago, and I always thought of her as my own.

Brian and I tried to make regular trips to visit her when we were still living in New Hampshire and yearly visits after we moved to New York. It didn't take long for me to see that Brian's family all loved her in a unique way as well, and that they, too, held their memories with her in a very special place. I watched Thomas climb on her infamous climbing tree in the backyard, slept upstairs in the super hot finished attic, and joined her for some late night ice cream on more than one occasion. I even played baseball in her backyard with Brian, his dad, and Thomas, when I was pregnant with Gabe. My favorite part of our visits, however, was just enjoying her company. As I grow older I often feel there are fewer and fewer people with whom I can connect the way I felt we did when we chatted, and time spent with her was good therapy. Some day I hope I can be like her, providing the warmth and comfort that she did, to my own family as it grows.

Yes, it was hard seeing her empty house up for sale after she finally had to make the move into her assisted living facility, and I know she missed the way things once were, but she was ready too. I used to give her a hard time when she would mutter something about hopefully not being around that much longer, but I remember now that as hard as it always is to say goodbye, it was her time, and I don't doubt that she is enjoying all the glory of the kingdom of heaven as I type.

Knowing that we will never have another excuse to visit her in that cute little cape in Pawtucket, however; that home filled with love and years of family memories, that local park with the carousel, the restaurant where we watched Brian's youngest sister, Lauren, sample her first lobster, munching on the best fish & chips ever in her cozy little kitchen, all those trips and never leaving without a tub of chicken salad from Willow Tree Farm (for good reason, I might note)... all because of her... Those things will all be a little harder to swallow, but I am thankful for a chance to share in a slice of her time here with us. I'm grateful for every moment I spent at her house and for knowing someone like her; genuine, real, with a heart of gold... and that Thomas got to experience some of her love too (Gabe and Logan a little too, but Thomas spent the most time with her). I think I can speak for the whole family when I say she will be dearly missed, but also that we will treasure our memories of her, with her, in a life-touching way, as long as we live, ourselves.

Thanks, Grandma.

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