Twelve years ago, we said good-bye to the amazing woman I had the pleasure to call Grandma. For a long time, I felt very cheated that she was taken from me at such a young age. She was only 57 years old and I was 18. The photo below was taken before my Senior prom in May of 2000. A short 10 months later, she was gone.
Looking back, there were definite signs that something was wrong with her. It wasn’t until February of 2001 that she received the cancer diagnosis. On March 22, my mom’s birthday, we were all at the hospital with Grandma. Family had travelled in from everywhere to say good-bye. We all knew she would never come home. Even though she could barely breathe or see, she insisted that we celebrate my mom’s birthday. So, someone went to Dairy Queen and bought an ice cream cake, and Grandma actually took a bite of it. Around 4 o’clock in the morning on March 23, we all stood gathered around her hospital bed as she took her last breath.
Everything I am, I owe to my Grandma. I only have two regrets. She was an amazing cook and seamstress. Though I spent time with her doing both, I definitely didn’t inherit her expertise at these skills. I can cook the bare minimum, and every time I sew, I smile at the thought of her laughing at me from Heaven at my inability to sew a straight line! What I lack in those two areas, I more than make up for in others, and for that reason I know she is super proud of me!
Fast forward to present day, and though I of course am still sad at what today represents, I am also happy. Three years ago today, my mom decided to turn March 23rd around and make it a happy day for us. So, she ran away to Hollywood and got married! Between loosing my Grandma and my Uncle Brian, I often thought I would loose my mom as well. Thankfully, she married a man that is absolutely perfect for her. She is just as funny as she ever was, and her smile tells you how happy she is. Today, I’ll be travelling to Mansfield to spend some time with them to celebrate her birthday and also anniversary.
I no longer feel cheated for loosing her. I often look at the younger generation and am disappointed at how much they take for granted. I spent the majority of my time with my grandparents, and that is what shaped me to be the person I am today. I have morals, values, compassion, goals. I often try to picture my life if she were still here, and honestly, I don’t like what it may have been. I was so attached to her, I’m not sure I would have ever left and became my own person. I also am very thankful she wasn’t here to experience the tragic loss of Brian. Something else I’m thankful for is that she had gotten to know Shannon, and really loved him. I’m sure she knew he would take great care of me, and that’s why it was ok her to go on to a better place 🙂 So, today I’ll celebrate a life lived, not a life lost. R.I.P Grandma gone but never forgotten