February 23, 2011
It is the equation I need today... to remind me of my riches. To have had six grandparents at any stage of my life, let alone two stages... is a blessing too big to fathom.
I know that some people never even know one.
But I didn't just have them, I knew them. My life was impacted by theirs... and I have a storehouse of memories. I am far beyond rich. And as they have passed from this life to the promise of the next, I have cried and remembered... and fallen in love all over again.
The call came last night... as we were on our way to celebrate a birthday. I called my sister back from the car and we talked for less than five minutes. I begged my husband not to tell anyone at the party. I held it all in. Until late last night, after I had finally spoken with my Dad. My grandmother's passing was a blessing. At 93 she was ready, perhaps past ready. My swollen eyes attest to my sadness, but grief seems almost too strong a word. Because she lived a full life that was decorated with friends and family... and the past years have not been as beautiful as one would hope for.
But the ending?
Oh, I hope it was lovely.
I hope she was dreaming. I hope memories danced before her eyes, and that my Grandpa was waiting just beyond them. He was always known to be a grouch, so I'm sure he might have been slightly annoyed that it had taken her eleven years to find her way Home. And I can just about hear her laughter as she brushed his scowl aside.
Gently, knowing that tears are sure to follow, I let the memories resurface. Hot oatmeal in her kitchen, and the bowl of ice cream that I stirred to melted soup... fluffy food. Trips to the toy store... Barbies, Strawberry Shortcakes... and outfits too many to count. Walks through Wheeler Park... all the way to the bench, passing the fallen down tree along the way. Bingo at the hall... or in her living room. Bedspreads that changed with the seasons. Ravioli and soft biscotti. Late night TV watched from the sofa bed, and the flash of her knitting needles, even in the dark. Candy dishes... always full. And that trip... when I was eight.
These pieces of my life remind me how special, how important, a grandparent can be. And I speak the words to the One who has them in His care... thank you.