Last week my grandmother passed away, in the wee early hours of the morning. She was an amazing lady, who was a tiny little force to be reckoned with, wrapped up in a five foot tall package. She was independent, fierce, with a sly, quick wit. She was generous, and kind, and never let you leave her house without at least something to take with you, from a cookie to a magazine to who knows what. You were not allowed to leave empty-handed. Creative and artistic, she painted, made things with stained glass, drew, knitted hats for children who had no warm clothes, knitted hats for my own child. She was a spitfire, who probably taught me how to swear, and she never backed down from a fight. She could cook up a storm, and made the best rice pudding. I remember winters, sitting in her kitchen, steam heating the room and fogging the windows, and being served creamy delicious rice pudding that she had made. It is one of those flavors that take you back in time, like Proust’s Madelines. She loved lemon meringue, and lemon flavored desserts, just like me, and my brother, and my son. We like things tart, I guess.
Her name was Marion, and she was my last remaining grandparent. I should feel blessed that I am the age I am now, just now losing my last grandparent. And I do. But you are never ready. And my grandma had a sense of invincibility about her.
It is the first time I have had to grieve, while caring for a child. I got the news on Friday, and then was alone all day with my son. It’s hard to be heartbroken and care for a child. In reverse though, it’s hard to be heartbroken and care for a child. Does that make sense? It was hard, but at the same time, being around my son made it a little easier, with his sunny smile. He is only 2, and won’t remember her, like I remember my great-grandma and great-grandpa. That will be up to me. And my brother and my father and my mother and stepmother, my cousin and aunt, to share our stories. And goodness knows, there are enough of them. She had a lot of living in her life, and many stories to share. I will miss her terribly.