Sunday, February 10, 2008

I love you, Grandma

My grandma died on January 25th, early in the morning. Not unexpected, but it hurts anyhow. I refused to even deal with it for a whole two days, as I got through a day of work visiting travel writers at newspapers in Seattle, and then partying with a good friend at her bridal shower. Nonetheless, the whole weekend was cursed. My friend ended up breaking up with her fiance that week, after he went crazy, and I cried the whole drive home on Saturday.

What do you do when you lose people you love? Nothing, I suppose, but try to get through your grief. The finality of it all is jarring, and everyday I find myself thinking about how she won't be there the next time I drive back to Ilwaco, or even next Christmas.

My grandma wasn't perfect, but she was wonderful. She was the most generous and courageous person I have ever known, and I always wondered if she felt she got enough love in return. I am glad to have held her hand and given her hugs for so many years. Anything else I could say would not do her justice, for how can we really know a grandparent? To grandchildren, grandparents are somewhat of an enigma... indulgent beings who are older, and to be respected, but who are eclipsed by their own children as the powerful family members. I knew my grandma as I knew my other grandparents (when I knew them at all): as a loving relative, not as a person whose life contained joy, mirth, heartache.
I imagine that will shift a bit this coming weekend as I sit through stories of her at her memorial. She will remain my grandma, but I will be glad to know something more of the woman she was. I only hope that I can forget the pain we all saw etched on her face over the last year as she led her final battle.
I love you, grandma.

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