Just after midnight last Monday, my grandmother closed her eyes and woke up in heaven.
My head is still spinning a little bit with raw and confused emotions. On one hand, I mourn the loss of my beloved grandma. On another hand, I know in my heart that she has been slowly deteriorating since Grandpa’s passing and can now finally rest. And on a third hand (if I had three hands) there is the realization that she was the last lynchpin holding our small family – at least as it was in my childhood memories – together.
I can’t help but remember all of those good times we spent at their house, when family was the most important thing. There were only four grandkids. Mom had two boys and our aunt had two girls. But somehow grandma had a special way of making each of us feel and believe that we were the favorite. There was never a doubt that we were loved, that we were safe and cared for. Whether we were trading candy from our Easter baskets or reading the sale ads from the Sunday paper around the kitchen table, so much of my life was shaped and influenced by the presence of my grandparents.
There are certain things that will always remind me of her; the smell of baking bread, pop-tarts & RC cola, Sunday afternoon coffee, and so much more. But more than just living on in our memories, the legacy of my grandparents will be the influence their lives had and will continue to have on the four of us.
In about six weeks, I will be a grandpa myself, and when I imagine what kind of grandparents I want my wife & I to be, I can say with all honesty that it will probably be an awful lot like my “MaMa Tootie & Pop”.
Rest in peace, Grandma. And thank you for setting such a wonderful example of what grandparents are supposed to be.