Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Until We Meet Again...

Gram and me!
What can I say in honor of my Gram… she left me with so much.  Gram made every moment a teaching moment, either instilling in me my incredible nerdiness and desire to learn, or recognizing it and feeding it… or perhaps a combination of the two.  She taught me to read and write, so well in fact, that at school they made me help the older kids.  She was very proud of that.  She taught me to spell, to do math, to bake bread, to fry the perfect egg, to recognize the beauty in the natural world, to ignore negativity, to be a good sport, to be patient (this works sometimes), to shoot, to utilize my brain in every way possible, to do the best I can at everything I do, that I was capable of anything I wanted to do, and most importantly, to be honest with myself as well as others no matter what. 
She played a very strong and important role in my childhood and life, one that helped to shape who I am today.  She always made me feel loved, especially when others were doing the opposite.  She always kept my playroom stocked with art supplies, and always played with me rather than telling me to go play. 

I think Gram felt like she had partially died the day she became tethered to an oxygen machine.  Even more so when she had to give up her garden and flowers and move into the nursing home, and a little more the day her legs stopped cooperating and the wheelchair became her transportation.  Every day I wished I could give her physical freedom again, it was torture for her to feel so dependent, and torture for me to watch it.  She always made light of the situation though, taking every opportunity to give the nurses some shit or yell at Paula Deen to take off her gaudy rings if she was going to be mixing food with her hands. 
I made it home in time to spend her last 6 hours and 45 minutes on this earth by her side, and will be forever grateful that she waited for me; she chose to leave her body with my hand on her chest and just the two of us in the room.  It was a humbling, beautiful and bittersweet experience that I will cherish forever, just as I will the 27 years I was blessed to have her for.  The pain of her loss is sharp, but the joy I feel for her return home and the freedom from her body far outweighs my sadness.  She is free, and I am blessed.  
Our last picture together, on her 81st birthday last year

Until we meet again, my beautiful Gram.  Thank you for everything, from the bottom of my heart.  

With endless love and gratitude,
Your granddaughter