Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Love you, Grandma

Grief is a funny thing. Sometimes it rolls over you like waves. Sometimes it hits hard and fast like a cold bucket of water tossed and splashed around. Sometimes its nearly silent, the tide rolling out and in again. Sometimes its shared, like you're all in the boat together, and sometimes its isolating, like you're out on a life raft, waiting out the storm, until help comes along.

I don't know why it's been this week specifically, but I've been missing my Grandma. She passed away in March, just 10 days before my baby boy was born. She was so excited to meet him and loved him him from the minute she knew he was coming. Makes me sad to think that she missed holding his sweet hands and seeing his ridiculously big grin. He would have loved her like I do, I'm sure. I would have enjoyed calling her and sharing stories or asking for her advice. She was always so full of wisdom. I miss my grandma.

Because I was so close to my due date when she passed away, we made the decision to not go to her funeral. It was the wise decision. She would have kicked my bottom if she knew that I'd traveled at that point in my pregnancy. She really would have.

While I wasn't able to be there, I was able to write down some thoughts that were shared at her funeral. Dad had asked for a paragraph. I went a little bit over. It's how it goes. How do you sum up one of your favourite people in the world in just one paragraph? You don't. That's all there is to it. You don't.

This week, missing her again, still, I reread what I wrote and thought that perhaps I could share it here. Maybe by sharing her in this way, she'll feel a little closer today.

This is what I wrote:

I wish so much that we could have been there today to celebrate Grandma with you all but I know, too, the scolding I would have gotten from her if we did anything to risk the life of the little one we’re waiting for so this will have to do. 
I know that at 35, I’m probably lucky to have had my Grandma in my life as long as I have and yet still it doesn’t seem like long enough. Just a little bit longer. Just a few days more. One more hug. One more phone call. The chance for her to meet the baby we’ve both prayed for. One more “I love you.” Still, I know it would never be enough. I’m so thankful she’s at Jesus’ side – she’s probably up to some mischief there – but I sure do miss her here. 
As I was sitting last night and crocheting for our little one, I began making a mental list of all the ways that Grandma is with me still. Things that she taught me and ways that she has shaped me. 
  • Perogies taste better when boiled with garlic. 
  • If you find the right spot for a plant, you really don’t have to have a green thumb.
  • Sometimes equal doesn’t mean fair but equal is important too. What you do for one you do for the other. 
  • Life is more fun with a bit of mischief and some sharp wit. I will always remember, the raised eyebrow, the twinkle in her eye and the laugh when she was up to no good. 
  • Recipes are a guidelines and measuring cups matter sometimes…but not always. A bit of this and a bit of that often works. If all else fails, taste. Did you ever see a skinny chef? 
  • Oh, and don’t ignore spices. There’s no need for boring food. 
  • Handmade gifts are best. They come with the deep love. 
  • There’s always room at the table for one more. 
  • Family is family and family comes first. Sometimes, I think Grandma loved us so deep she was blind to our flaws (thank goodness) but you will never find a better cheerleader or more fierce defender. 
  • You will never know unless you try…from foods to new skills to new endeavors and adventures. You never know unless you try.
  • Smile. And stand up straight. Being tall is a gift. 
  • Always say “I love you.” You never know when it’ll be your last chance. 
  • Marriage can and should be forever. It’s work, but it’s good work. 
  • One stitch at a time. And if it doesn’t work, just back up and start again. 
  • You are lovely. And loved. 
  • Family, life, happens around the table. 
  • Hard work matters. 
  • Its ok to be a little sentimental about things from time to time. 
  • Stories are meant to be shared and savored. I loved listening to Grandma tell stories.
  • There are things worth getting upset over and there are things that aren’t. Choose wisely. 
  • Messes can be cleaned up. 
  • Family isn’t just by blood. There’s always room to adopt a few more. 
  • Laugh. 
  • Pray about everything. God hears and God answers.
  • Each day is a gift. There was never a day that I asked her how she was that she didn’t respond with “thankful that the good Lord has given me another day” or “nothing to complain about. No one wants to hear an old lady complain anyway.” 
Most importantly, she modeled for me how to love God and love people. In every conversation I had with her, our shared faith in our creator came up in some way. She prayed for all her kids, grandkids and great grandkids to know His great love for them in a real and personal way. And she loved deeply, because her love came from Him. 
Her legacy and her life is in each one of us. We carry her lessons and her love with us every day. Love you, Grandma. 

Love Stacey (Colin, Marissa, Jenae and wee baby Miller)

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