my grandma

IMG_4145

My daughter Ella and her great grandma.

My grandma was bright, quick-witted and charming.  She was also an elegant, tall, stunning beauty.  My grandma was a mom to two, a grandma to four and a great-grandma to four.  How fortunate for us to have her in our lives all these years. She was much beloved to her family and friends.

My grandma possessed an amazing long term memory and was an engaging teller of stories, remembering every fine detail, even fifty years after the fact.  She was always impeccably put together, and had an eye for the finer things in life.  Grandma could sniff out a good shoe sale from many miles away.  Grandma was a talker on the phone, a lover of animals, a reader of books, and a great baker of bread.

My grandma had the good fortune to have two great loves of her life:  Frankie, my grandpa, who left her a young widow at age 27, and then my other grandpa Joe, who passed away 18 years ago.  I know she missed them both terribly.  May she meet up with them in heaven – they will surely be both vying for her attention.

I will never forget my grandma’s reaction when I called her to share the news that our youngest son had been diagnosed with Down syndrome.  She said to me, ‘Oh my goodness, well of course I will love him no matter what.’  And love him she did – she had an infinite amount of patience for her young great-grandchild.  She said to me:  ‘it is my one regret that I worried so much about how clean the floor was when your mother was little.’  She instead took great delight in all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren – writing us long handwritten letters, pressing cash in our hands for gas money, buying us thoughtful gifts, teaching us to bake, stocking the fridge with our favourite foods, and feeding us messy chocolates.

Most of all, my grandma was the most gracious person I have ever known.  She would never fail to ask folks how they were doing, recalling details of their lives, and be concerned that everybody ate and slept well, even in her later years as her memory and health started to fail her.   She was the very definition of grace.  I can only hope that I inherited even a fraction of her kindness and generosity.  I think we need more people like my grandma in this world.

I love you so very much, Grandma, and will miss you so very much, too.  I trust that my cherished memories of you will see me through.  xoxo

Late Fragment
-Raymond Carver

And did you get what
You wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to
Feel myself
Beloved on the earth.

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