This morning my Grandma passed away. I have really mixed emotions about this. I am happy that she is no longer in pain. I am happy that she is reunited with my Grandpa and her family. I am happy that I know that I will see her again one day, thank goodness I believe in the plan of salvation or else this would be a lot harder than it already is. Whenever I start to think about her not being around anymore, I start to cry all over again.
I have loved all of my Grandparents, but she is the first person that I have been really close to that has died. Even though I knew it was coming, I was in denial about it. Especially since she was so with it and seemed fine for so long. I didn't want my Grandma to leave.... which was just selfish of me because she was ready to go. It made it easier for me that she had such a great perspective on life and was so at peace with her life and the process of dying. Every time I would go see her and she would talk about dying I would tear up no matter how hard I tried not to and she would say "Tracy, it's a good thing, it's ok". Or when she was in pain she would say "It's ok sweetheart, I'm fine, it's just part of life. It's not a fun part, but it's a part of life". She would also tell me all the time how blessed she was to have such a terrific family. "There isn't one bad apple in the bunch... you can't ask for more than that out of life". Family was all that mattered and it showed by how she treated her family.
I feel so blessed that I was able to spend so much time with her in the last several months. I started going to see her once a week since October.... pretty much around the time that she stopped coming to Sunday family dinner and even then I got see her every Sunday at dinner... but the one on one time I had with her was precious. I spent 5 hours with her on New Years Eve and I can't think of a better way to bring in the new year knowing that there wouldn't be another year with my sweet Grandma. We had so many great conversations, her telling me stories about her life and me opening up about the struggles and joys in my life always over candy and soda she kept stalked in the refrigerator. She read my blog everyday and kept up on my life. When we were with the Anderson cousins couple of times she cracked up telling them about my dating stories that she would read off of my blog. I know... my dating life is entertaining. Although every time I went to see her it got harder and harder to see her because she struggled more and more, it never stopped her from smiling and laughing and enjoying every minute that she had with her family. Just on Monday when Dave, Trav and I were over there... she couldn't even get out of bed, but Dave said something that made her laugh so hard that I think it hurt her. It made me so happy every time I saw her laugh or smile and how special to be a part of that in her last days. I text Trav this morning telling him how great the timing of his trip was for Grandma and he text back saying how sweet it was that we were just laughing with her 2 days ago. I agree. I have had a lot of great moments with Grandma these last few months and I have enjoyed every second of it.
My Grandma was special for a lot of reasons. She is an easy woman to love because she had a big heart. I can't think of one time in my life where I didn't feel love from my Grandma. My sister this morning reminded me of a story that I forgot but describes my Grandma perfectly. When I was really little, I accidentally broke a collectors item glass figurine. I told my Grandma and remember being scared to tell her because I knew I would get in trouble... but that isn't what happened. I felt terrible, but my grandma just hugged me and told me it was ok because it was just stuff. The important thing was that I was ok. People are more important than things... and maybe that is why she was always giving away her things. She gave away more things than anyone else I know... I don't even know how she still had stuff to give away. She was so thoughtful, she never forgot a birthday or graduation or any type of celebration. No matter what the occasion, you got a card with money in it telling you that she was proud of you and loved you. She spoiled us rotten. We would sometimes get to spend the night at Grandma's and she would make us breakfast and take us out to lunch and take us to the store and let us pick out something we wanted. Time at Grandma's was always really special. Even as adults, when you go to Grandma's house, you don't leave without something... you have to eat candy or take a soda from the fridge that she always had stalked with everyone's favorites. She served unconditionally. She took care of family her entire life. She of course took care of her kids (raised 3 great kids) and I remember her taking care of her mom and most recently I saw her take care of Grandpa for many years, which I know wasn't easy... but she wouldn't have it any other way and she took care of him as well as any nurse would have. She would do anything for her family... but I think one of the greatest qualities my Grandma had that had everyone that knew her love her, is the fact that she made everyone feel so special. She had the gift of making each person feel like the most special and most important person in the world. She would always compliment me, encourage me, never judge me, support me, tell me I was so talented and list my talents, listen to me, be there for me and things were always about me... because I was important. She did that with everyone. She also knew how to tease and laugh and have a good time. It was always fun at Grandma's house. I ALWAYS looked forward to going. I could go on and on about all the things I love about my Grandma and all of the special and fun memories I have of her, but I would be writing a book.
I am so blessed to be able to call this sweet and wonderful woman my Grandma. I am blessed that she had been around for as long as she had. I am blessed I got to see her as often as I did. I am thankful for the life she lived and how it blessed my life. I hope I continue to live a life she is proud of and she is a woman I admire and I want to strive to be more like her. Grandma I love you so much. I will miss you more than you will ever know. Until we meet again.