I finally got the call I have been dreading from my father. My uncle had just heard from the nursing home that my Grandmother passed away. She lived from February 2, 1911 (Groundhog’s Day–or Grandma Hog’s day as she would joke) and died on September 5, 2007. That is a mighty long life. I know that the only things she regrets—although I don’t know that she would ever use that word–is that she never went to China and never lost that “last two pounds.” The “last two pounds” thing is a joke. No matter how slim and trim my Grandma was… this was a woman who wore my 8 year old butt out with beach runs!…she always had those pesky “last two pounds!” Even when I saw her a couple of years ago and her awareness was at a low, I joked with her that it looked like she lost those two pounds. She said, well, my tummy is still not flat. She was 94 years old, but she was still aware of those two pounds.
I told my Dad that I imagine she is now back walking the beach, her favorite activity, and finding shells and taking care of the babies in Heaven. I had emailed my friend who just lost her baby and update about my Grandma and mentioned she was back running the beach like when she use to wear me out, laughing the whole time. My friend’s response was “I like to think that she is doing all that fun stuff with Erin Michelle (her baby) and that they are taking care of each other.” THAT KILLED ME!
This growing up shit is for the birds. Whoever sold me on the idea that this was a good time, I want my money back. I had a thirty minute fit tearing through boxes of pictures and photo albums looking for pictures of her to take to work tomorrow. I found all but the one I was really looking for, a photo of her from the late 60s. Her hair already it’s beautiful white, sitting in a very 60’s kitchen with her head thrown back in laughter. That sepia toned photo is the perfect embodiment of my Grandma. So full of life, no matter what.
Even though, for all intents and purposes, my Grandma has been gone for awhile now, this doesn’t hurt any less. This woman who survived quite a few hurricanes and fought off a mugger on the streets of Miami at the age of 80. This woman who got me up at 4AM to watch Prince Charles and Princess Diana get married. This woman who knew to put meat tenderizer on my arm when I got stung by a jelly fish and how to accessorize like no one’s business. She is no longer with us. Her body is gone. Her spirit will live on in the lives of everyone she met, and particularly me. I love you Grammy and I miss you so much I can’t breathe. I will make sure that everyone important to me understands how important you were in making me the person I am today and you take care of little Erin Michelle, she’ll be looking for you.