On Tuesday evening I found out that my grandmother was not doing well. She'd been sick for a while and wasn't rallying again like others suspected she would. She shared with my aunt on Tuesday that an angel was watching her all day from the corner of the room. Anyone in hospice (and probably anyone in general) knows what that means. The veil was lifting for her, and I wanted to come down to NJ to say goodbye. My aunt said I didn't need to do that immediately, and so I planned a trip down on Friday.
However, Wednesday night the doctors said 24 hours or less...and two hours later she died. I spent a while upset that I didn't follow my instinct and drive right down. But now I realize that Grandmom probably didn't want to cause a scene, or didn't want everyone to see her like that. It happened the way it needed to happen. You can read a really beautiful description of her death on my aunt's blog (Unsolicited Rants, to the right).
My grandmom and pop were to celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary later this month. They are the rock of the family, always together, in the house my grandfather built. Here is their wedding picture:
And here is my Grandmom on her honeymoon - I think she's 23 here:
I miss her so much already, but she's left us with so much love and memories and for that I feel blessed.
And here is an uncovered memory, which was found amid old photos, written in Dec. 1984. It's charming since it is so innocently tactless.
Here is the front of the letter, saying I MIGHT give her a trip to the circus for Christmas:
It is strange for us, here, because Grandmom's death comes right at the time of Niko's birth (he's not here yet, but it's his due date). Usually that circle of life and death is not so literal, and you can pretend day to day that you not getting older, not heading towards your own death. But this is a stark reminder, and not-so-subtle stepping into the next generation. For me that starkness is blended in with a grace that is so hard to describe I just am not going to attempt it right now.
On a side note, Kim has accepted Grandmom's rule that we are not to name our children after her, so Niko will not be dubbed Mildred.