It’s the week of Thanksgiving. I am thinking lately of all the things I feel thankful for. I’m thankful for my husband who is an amazing partner and hands-on dad. I’m thankful that we are (generally) healthy (despite the constant daycare colds lately). I’m thankful that Logan is a happy, healthy baby. I’m thankful for friends and family who have always been there. Those are the things that matter–especially in tough times.
Something else I’m thankful for is that we went up to Seattle in August so that both my grandmas could meet Logan for the first time.
Last week my grandma, Mary, passed away.
I can’t say it was a surprise. She had been unwell and living in her nursing home for a few years due to many strokes. There were many times when my parents would call and tell me that the doctors thought “this was it” and I’d prepare myself. Then she’d bounce back and improve. When the time finally came, there was no notice, she just passed quietly in her sleep a few minutes before my dad arrived to visit her.
When I got the news I was kind of in shock, even though we all knew it would happen. She was very, very frail and ill due to the stokes. I guess even if you’re expecting it, you never really expect it.
Then I thought about how thankful I was that we visited her in August. It was a lovely visit. My parents, me, Michael and Logan were all together with her and she got to meet her great-grandson. Her face lit up when she saw him. Her eyes got big and she smiled and she was SO happy! Babies have a magical power if you ask me!
I am so glad we were able to brighten her day. Even though she couldn’t communicate well because of the strokes, she could get out a few words and she understood what we were talking about. Out of the blue she managed to say “birthday” –it was my dad’s birthday that day! She just knew it and she managed to say the word. It was quite surprising! And she tried to show off her great-grandson to the other ladies in the common area of her nursing home. She was proud and happy.
So that’s the memory I had when I got the news and it made me smile, in spite of the sadness.
Another memory I have is Christmas. As a kid we went to my grandma’s house for Christmas dinner — where she cooked the entire Thanksgiving meal because it is my dad’s favorite food. And it was SO good! The turkey, the mashed potatoes and gravy, the black olives on your fingers, the stuffing and sparkling cider. We all looked forward to that meal and she loved to cook it for everyone.
It’s hard being far away from family when something like this happens. I’m not sure yet when the memorial will be but my brother is thinking about flying home for it, which would be nice. At least everyone will get to be together again to remember her life.