Thursday, March 31, 2011

Toot toot tootsie, don't cry.

Today, my Grandma Shirley turns 86.

It is hard to believe it's been five years in July since she hugged me.  It' hard to believe everything that's happened since then.

I used to call her on the phone in the evenings -- make small talk about dinner and what was on, if she'd talked to anyone else.  Evening were long for her without my Grandpa Fred.  I used to zone out during these calls, laying on my bed, and I'd be so disappointed in myself, telling myself I should really pay attention and appreciate my grandma and these chats, and really make real conversation, and I didn't always succeed.

I will never forget her shocked gasps, or the way her hand felt when she laid it on your knee or your hand -- almost petting you.  Her shouts when I rifled through her things, and how fun it was to go through her things.  Sitting on the foot of her bed with her and my mom, going through all the little boxes of jewelry, perfume, old photos, and broken watches.  I'll never be able to explain to my kids her and all the things about her and the specific details of her home and how it smelled and how it felt to be there -- things that are so real and vibrant in my mind.

I could not comprehend the sadness she felt after losing my grandpa.  And I know we were probably insensitive to that sometimes.  Maybe a lot.  But I hope she knew that was because we loved her SO MUCH.  We wanted her, so much.  We had lost grandpa.  And with him, we lost a piece of her, and it was unbearable sometimes.

Thank you, Gram.  For my mom, and for being such a good mom to my mom.  For all of your love and affection, for always being welcoming and accepting.

I love you.  I miss you all the time, but feel you right here with me all the time.  I'll never love anyone else the way I love you. 


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