As I sit down to write this blog, I don’t know where to start. But, I take comfort in the fact that every time I sit down to write, I just need to start somewhere, maybe not even at the beginning, and then it seems thoughts begin to flow. I would like to think that I have that in common with my grandmother. She was an avid writer and published many times. Most often in her local newspaper but even in a book of poetry. I recently lost my dear grandmother at the age of 96. She was beautiful and always and forever will be. I was lucky enough to read one of her poems at her funeral two weeks ago. In fact, it’s one that she had written for her grandmother during such a time. It was very difficult, emotional, yet ultimately fulfilling. I know in my heart that Grandma B was there, watching down on me with a smile. I was lucky enough to have an amazing relationship with my grandmother. She loved my brothers and I like no other, and we her. I don’t think it was until the later years that we realized what we would miss out on when “black” grandma passed. I have to laugh in the midst of tragedy because when we were young, my brothers and I, we would refer to our grandmothers by the “color of their hair.” So we had “white” grandma and “black” grandma. Of course, “black” grandma was the one who dyed her hair black every week until the day she passed. She was so proud of her hair. She certainly wasn’t going to let the hands of time define her by her hair color. Now, In a world of such political correctness, I realize I may offend some for publishing such a memory, but it’s my memory. And one that makes me smile. I can even hear us as kids asking my parents, “Are we going to see black grandma or white grandma?” My parents would give each other a smirk, I’m sure they knew it may not sound correct, but how could they explain that to our young, innocent hearts at the time? So instead, they would simply answer us. Often times we would visit both, as they lived so close. My parents are high school sweethearts. I can still hear my father say, “First white grandma and then black grandma.” I love these little memories of mine.
My second favorite memory is visiting grandma’s home. She lived in a teeny, tiny place in the middle of nowhere. And you could stand one foot in Minnesota and one foot in Iowa. It is without a doubt the most peaceful place on Earth. It has a glistening trout stream, a gravel road with a bridge large enough to play pooh sticks from and a bluff made for climbing. Picture white tailed deer, bald eagles flying over head, and all sorts of other creatures of this world lurking about. My grandmother loved to go on walks and enjoy this beautiful scenery every day of her life. She loved these outdoors and this magnificent place.
No one would ever be able to prepare us for the actual event. The day my grandmother passed. She lived to be 96. She lived for 22 years without my grandfather and she was without a doubt, the strongest woman I have ever met. She worked until the age of 86, long passed the clients she took care of. My brother made a strange but true remark at her viewal. He said, “Well, she outlived ’em all.” While it comes across as a tough statement, my brother is absolutely right. My grandmother watched many of her friends, family, acquaintances, and clients pass before her. I take comfort in knowing that she is meeting all of these awesome people in Heaven, waiting to greet her with open arms. And will forever be in the hands of our eternal God.
I love my grandmother with all my heart and still think of her often. In case you are in interested in her poem, I plan to publish it in my next blog post.