Today is the anniversary of a very special day; on this day a year ago, my grandma passed away. Surrounded by family and friends singing “Jesus Loves Me”, she opened her eyes and smiled. That was just the kind of person she was: she was going to go with a smile.
I was in Guatemala, with plans to be home for good in four days. I couldn’t imagine that we weren’t meant to see each other. She has always felt like a physical part of me. From day one I was the “spitting image” of her, and I know she gave me more than genes: so much of my natural optimism, love for people, desire for kindness.
Over the past year, I've felt her presence so keenly: when I smile at a stranger; when I share something I’d like to hoard; when I let my cat on the table [she loved to spoil her dogs!]. Her passing has really made me cherish all of my grandparents and the role they’ve had in my life.
Here they are:
Gramom (far left) and Gramps (far right) are still around and active! Pop-pop (left) passed away in July 2010. I had a good 24 years with all of them, though, something for which I’m really grateful. They didn’t always color-coordinate their outfits, but the photo above was taken at Thanksgiving. Gramom always has enthusiastically festive outfits.
With them there were many zoo visits, many Cheetos, many back rubs and mall trips, games of pool and gin rummy, breakfasts on the patio, pool swims, bucketloads of Peanut Butter Captain Crunch, café lunches and holiday dinners together as a family. And hugs. So many hugs!
Thanks for everything, grandparents. Thanks for everything, Grams. You're always with us.