You never get over it, you just get used to it.

We lost my grandma last night.

Nothing can prepare you for that loss, no matter how prepared you think you are.

Her body is still here but I know her soul is with Jesus and there is so much peace in that. And peace knowing her pain is gone. But the grief that comes isn’t easy.

I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a few hours with her this last weekend. She was her feisty self we all know and love. She wanted to see every photo on my phone, she gave me the biggest shocked face and said “you only have two kids!?!” to which I replied “yeah! I didn’t have 9 like you silly…” and she squeezed my hand and gave me the sassy Rita face and said “goll!” with a joking scoff like she always did. She tried to pawn her food off on me and even fed me some food on an invisible spoon.

While I fed her cheesecake I asked her what her favorite food was of all time and her response: “I don’t like food, but that… (points to cheesecake) I like dessert.” Followed by “well don’t cut it (the strawberry) just put it in, I have a big mouth.” My gosh, I love her.

I’ve been trying to keep positive memories in my mind and I wanted to put them here so they wouldn’t diminish. It’s been a really hard year for our family and I’ve learned how important memories are to carry with you.

My grandma used to babysit my brother and I throughout our childhood, and the most vivid memory I have is: every day for lunch, she fed us canned corn in melted-butter water, in a reused “I can’t believe it’s not butter” container and I can still taste it to this day.

We would eat orange creamsicles outside as the sticky mess ran down our arms. And we’d watch General Hospital every day, and probably a few other soap operas because that was her thing.

We’d crack walnuts in the garage and scour the front yard for mulberries together, trying not to mush them in our toes.

And she always had a few hugs to spare at each hello and every goodbye.

She always had a digital camera with her, taking photos of literally everything, and she always called on the phone saying “yeah, hi it’s me” followed by the latest and greatest info…and I hope I never forget the sound of that.

I can still hear her voice and her remarks and the way she said my name “Mon-E-ca”.

And her fashion sense was like no other. Crazy shirts, garage sale jewelry, bright long nails, and a wig…always a wig.

There are so many more memories but these are the ones that stand out and that make me smile as tears run down my cheeks. She had a full 89 years of life! She bowled and found four-leaf clovers and made plywood creations that she was so proud of and could always make you laugh.

She will be very missed here on earth.

As I was putting Z to bed last night, tears running down my face, he sat up and tilted his head and said “you not be sad mommy…” and I felt that.

She wouldn’t want us to be sad, but I know for now we will be. And that’s ok. Because it’s ok to feel, and it’s okay to miss her and to cry and it’s ok to let it hurt. It’s taken me a long time to understand grief, and although I only know a little…I know that it’s ok to feel it all.

My best friend told me this past year when we lost my auntie that “you never get over it, you just get used to it” and that’s powerful to me, and very helpful.

So here is to always wishing you were here with us, and carrying you in our hearts every day. I love you Grandma ❤️

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