My grandma passed yesterday. We’ve been expecting it for a while and yet for some reason it still felt unexpected. I suppose there are some things you simply can’t actually be fully prepared for. I got to enjoy over 35 years with her though and, while there are more memories than I could possibly type out, I wanted to share some of my favorites.
Grandma’s house was my refuge whenever I was sick. And when I say refuge, I really mean it was my place to be spoiled and pampered. My parents owned a business when I was younger, so on days that I was sick enough to stay home from school, I usually stayed at Grandma’s. I had my run of the TV (a special treat since we didn’t have TV at home) and would spend my day watching everything from cartoons, to Star Trek, to The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. She always made me a lunch meat sandwich (my choice) and looking back at the number of cookies I consumed on those days – Grandma was quite the cookie pusher – well lets just say I’m amazed I wasn’t more sick when I left.
The holidays were always spent at Grandma and Grandpa’s. Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas would all find our extended family enjoying massive meals and fun together at their house. Looking back now as an adult who has hosted such gatherings, I’m extremely grateful for the time and effort Grandma put into making those gatherings so memorable.
Family was always important to Grandma. Not just blood relations but those she considered family, and you had to be careful because it was easy to unexpectedly fall under that umbrella with her. Attend more than one of our family functions as a guest, such as a couple friends of mine did when I was younger, and you were in. From then on, if you missed a family function you were expected to give an answer as to why. And her tone made it clear that “because I’m not actually part of your family” would not be an acceptable answer. Her view of family has forever shaped mine and for that I am thankful.