Miss you



My grandma Hales died this afternoon. She was 78, and she outlived my grandpa by 5 years, which I'm sure surprised her as much as it did me. She'd been declining for years, so it didn't come as a shock. Still, I find it hard to imagine that I will never see her again. Never see them again. Somehow, it seems more final now that they're both gone.

Grandma asked to go home, as she got less coherent and closer to the end. Two days before she died, when her sister reminded her that the dr had said she had to stay, she said, "Get Ray! Damn it, he can come and take me home." As sad as it made me, knowing that she had slipped far enough to forget that my grandpa was gone, I couldn't help but laugh. That was my grandma.
I remember, and will for the rest of my life, spending the night with my grandma and wearing her "silky nightgowns" to bed, even though they dragged the floor. And I'm so glad I remembered a few years ago to ask her for her recipe for Spanish rice. Although she was confused by the request, because there was no recipe. Instead, she made it for me and let me write down what she did as she did it. Looking at old photos, I remember her smile, and her throwing her head back and laughing. It breaks my heart that I don't remember the last time I saw that in person. Years ago. But there was another time, back when I was a kid, when my memories of her and my grandpa revolve around camping up North, summers in their pool, ice cream from the scary basement freezer, Grandma making us spend all day outside so we didn't waste the day in front of the TV. Happier days with her.

Not to say that they were easy days. My grandpa told me when I was around 14 that the reason my grandma and I "butted heads" so much was that we were alike. And oh, I was even madder then. She was not an easy woman. But I loved her. And I am so, so grateful for the time we had.

My grandma and me

4 comments:

  Bruce and Carrie

May 2, 2009 at 1:38 AM

What a wonderful tribute to your Grandma. She was a woman with many facets. Our hearts are aching. The memories will help as we share them over the rest of our lives but especially in the next few days. That and the comfort that she is not in pain and struggling now. Love you all. Carrie

  Reema Beri

May 3, 2009 at 9:34 PM

Gwen -- your post brought tears to my eyes. I'm so sorry for your loss, and I'm here for you.
Love, Reem

  Harris Boys

May 5, 2009 at 9:45 PM

aw Gwen, I am so sorry for your loss. my grandma died almost 4 years ago and its still hard without her. what a caring tribute to your grandma. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time HUGS

  hopeful #1

May 19, 2009 at 10:52 AM

Gwen, I'm so very sorry. Moments like this make yo wish that they could live forever so you could learn from them, forever. My grandmother passed away 4 years ago and she did something similar when she was on her death bed, asking for her husband who had passed away a month earlier.

It just breaks my heart.

Thank you for sharing. I'll pray that you will be calm in rememberance during these next few weeks...