My grandmother died last Tuesday. It was sudden and unexpected. I haven’t been able to do much except my head above water. I took bereavement leave on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday. I’m taking Monday off for the funeral but then I’m back to work on Tuesday. Best to keep busy I suppose.
My grandmother was a remarkable woman. I suppose everyone feels that way about their grandmother. I certainly hope that someday my grandchildren say that about me.
My parents’ divorce was nasty and prolonged. I was only 6 years old and even I remember it. I think it speaks volumes about my grandmother that she maintained a relationship with my mother. When my mother remarried she accepted my stepfather into the family. When they had a child, my grandmother accepted her as her own grandchild.
My grandmother worked as a dental assistant when I was small. Sometimes she would take me to work with her and let me drink “coffee.” Of course, to a small child, coffee was sugar with a little bit of coffee. She bought me puppies and kittens and baby dolls.
It was more than what she bought me, though. It was what she taught me, it was how she loved me. It was that gentle nudge when I strayed, that softly spoken word when I was scared.
I slept in the same bed with my grandparents until I was 8 years old. My father hated it. He tried hard to break the habit but I would have none of it and my grandparents would have even less of it.
“How are you feeling, Grandma?”
“With the tips of my fingers, baby.”
I love you, Grandma, wherever you are. I will strive to be what you taught me. I promise.