Thursday, April 30, 2009

Alma

My grandmother died on Monday. Every day since then I've tried to write something, but I'm just not sure what to say. Today was her funeral and I was so busy chasing after Katie and Charlotte, I feel in some ways like I wasn't even there. Like only now, in the 'calm after the storm', am I able to really start saying goodbye.

She was 92. She lived a long life, and her quality of life towards the end was not great. I think she didn't really know who I was for at least a few months now, though she always remembered my babies. She loved my girls, and told them so over and over whenever she saw them... "I love you! I love you!" in her weak little old lady voice.

And so, it is sad but in a way, as my mom kept saying, it was a blessing. Still, no matter what the circumstances you mourn the loss of someone you love.

I think I am also mourning the grandmother I lost long before she actually died. The one who slowly slipped away without us even realizing until one day she was gone. The person I grew up with, lived with, loved more than anyone and loved me so much that I always felt safe in the world just knowing she was there. Knowing no matter what happened I always had her to turn to if I needed her. She was the one person who truly made you feel her love was limitless and totally unconditional. Not that she was perfect - OH NO, no no....no... lol.... but her love for me seemed endless and being with her always felt safe.

I got many things from my grandmother, among them my love of foods such as instant mashed potatoes, huge bowls of Welsh Farms ice cream and hunks of Cracker Barrel cheese (thanks Grandma!). I never saw the woman eat a piece of fresh fruit or a vegetable that didn't come out of a can (except for fresh Jersey tomatoes, which she liked slathered in mayonnaise).

And my propensity towards spending money as fast as I get it. My grandmother didn't even let money reach her pocket to burn a hole in it, she got rid of it so fast. She loved to buy things for you, often things you neither wanted nor needed. She ridiculously OVERtipped everyone (she even tried tipping her bank teller). She never let you leave her house empty handed, and would find SOMETHING to make you take home with you - I literally left once with toilet paper, a TV Guide and two tomatoes. The first time I took my husband to her house he came home with a reacher (just what a 6' 2'' man needs).

I haven't thought in a long time about that grandmother...not the confused old woman who really wasn't sure who I was. But the vibrant, funny one who fed me junk every New Years Eve until I almost threw up, who danced with me on her back porch in our nightgowns to the Lawrence Welk Show, who every single morning got up, read her daily prayers, made a pot of coffee (percolated on the stove of course) and a very, very burned English muffin.

Some things though, never changed. She never stopped obsessing about everyone's weight but that's not a story for today.... lol. Until the very end of her life she loved The Price is Right, and ice cream, and her family. Everyone who came to the wake talked about how much she loved her family.

When I told PJ that she had died he said, well, she finally got to meet Jack then. I hope so. That's what I keep thinking - one more person to love my boy until I get there. And I know first hand she'll do a very very good job of making him feel loved, and safe, and happy.

Grandma (Alma) with me, and with Charlotte:




32 comments:

Amanda_h said...

This is so beautifully written. As strange as it may sound, of made me feel overwhelmingly happy. I never had a relationship like that with a grandparent, and I hope I'll get to have it with a grandchild. Thank you for sharing.

MC said...

I am so sorry for your loss! I enjoyed reading about your beautiful memories of her.

Anonymous said...

I have tears in my eyes. I also never had that kind of relationship with a grandparent so I'm envious and happy and sad for you all at the same time. The part where you wrote that she will be with Jack, loving him, was beautiful. I'm sorry for your loss.

Minnie said...

What a lovely tribute. I'm sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

I lost my 94 year old grandma a little over two years ago and I still miss her every day. She was a wonderful, loving, PERFECT grandma and I was so blessed to have her until I was 45 years old. I know your pain &am praying for you. I am happy you have such wonderful memories!

Melissa said...

You don't know me but I have been reading your blog for about 17 months. I just wanted to let you know that I am really sorry about your Alma. Lovely tribute!

Kristin (kekis) said...

I am so sorry that you lost your grandmother. Alma sounded like a great woman! I lost my grandmother a month ago, and it hurts more now than it did when we first lost her because her absence is really being felt. I hope that she is rocking the babies I lost until I get there someday. I'm sure your Alma and Jack are doing the same and having a grand time together.

Jennifer said...

So sorry for your loss, Megan. I hope your memories bring you peace.

Rachael said...

i am so sorry for your loss. the post was a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman.

Busted said...

What a wonderful remembrance of your sweet grandmother, and I love the pictures. Thank you for sharing your memories of her with us. My own Nana has been suffering from Alzheimer's for years now, and thanks to your post I'm taking the time to think back and remember the grandma she was before that, which I haven't done in a long time. I'm so sorry for your loss.

motheringmymiraclemultiples said...

I'm so sorry to hear of Alma's passing. I am sure she and Jack are having a great time together.

Your description ofher reminded me somuch of my Great-Aunt Leonie. My gradmother passed away 2 years before I was born and my Aunt Leonie jumped it to be the surrogate grandmother. I spent a lot of time with her when I was young. She used to feed me bagels and prune juice. She made me watch TPIR and the young and the restless. She was tiny little woman and loved the color orchid. She was my orchid aunt.

She's been gone for several years now, but is always with me. May Alma rest in peace.

Joceline said...

So sorry about your grandma. My grandma is always sending home crazy stuff too--once I got two restaurant sized packets of jelly, a dirty old piece of poster board (blank), and a stale half-eaten bag of Jelly Bellies. Thanks for the reminder that I'll miss that stuff someday!

Lisa said...

Oh, Megan, I love that pic of you with your grandma. It's wonderful you have that to cherish. I'm sorry, again. When I lost my grandmother 3.5 weeks after my miscarriage, it gave me solace knowing that she was with the child I lost and I'm glad you can have that thought as well.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about the loss of your grandma but how nice she was able to get to know your girls. My daughter-in-law just lost her grandma last night so I know the sadness you are all going through. I too was very close to my mom's mother - she lived with us for many years and I missed her terrible when she passed. You will be in my prayers.
Your admirer from the Jersey shore

Parcells Custom Painting said...

Megan, your posts are always so beautifully written... thank you for sharing with us. I'm sure Alma is loving Jack with all her heart right now and taking good care of him. Lots of love xoxo

BenLand said...

so sorry for your loss......she sounds like a great lady :)

Wendy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope your Alma is holding Jack and telling him all about the wonders of mayo <3

c said...

I'm so sorry. I lost my grandfather 2.5 months ago and was very close to him as well. I feel so lucky to have had such a loving relationship with him. I miss him every day but I take comfort that he is no longer in pain. Also, I know he got to meet up with many of his old friends and family. Maybe he's met your Jack as well. :)

A Mom in Jacksonville, FL said...

Welling up...

What a lovely post for your sweet Grandmother Alma. I'm sorry for you loss, but agree she and Jack are watching over you and your family.

Hugs!

A Mom in Jacksonville, FL said...

P.S. I just saw that your girls made the Top 20 for the "Cutest Multiples" contest. (http://multiplesandmore.blogspot.com/2009/04/cutest-multiples-finalists.html)

Congrats and good luck!! :)

Rebecca Nixie said...

Sorry for the loss of your Grandmother. May she rest in peace and love your little Jack and watch LaLa and Katie grow from above.

Gwen said...

Megan, I'm so sorry to hear this. Actually, my own grandmother died this afternoon, and when I logged on my Google reader this evening yours was the first post on the list. You inspired me to write my own post for my grandma. Thank you for writing.

Anonymous said...

I am a grandmother and you described me and my relationships with my g-children. My children complain about how I let their children get away with too much, feed them junk, let them drink coffee(milk with a splash of coffee) and generally spoil them. That's what I think I am for. I do love them unconditionally and no matter what. I always feel that they feel SAFE with me. Like all is well. Thanks for sharing. I feel validated after reading about your feelings for your g-mother.

Christa said...

I'm so sorry for your loss Megan. This was written perfectly (as usual!) and made me feel like I really know who your Grandma was. It looks like you were very lucky have her in your life. Of course she is with Jack and you're right, he has another person to take care of him until you get there.

Anonymous said...

Your description of your gram reminded me of mine -- and she will be 91 this summer. The feeling of being safe in the world because she's in it -- the feeling of limitless, unconditional love -- perfect description of how I feel about my Gram. I know losing her is going to be a very difficult moment in my life. I am sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

If my daughters feel about my Mother 1/2 of what you felt for your Alma, I would feel completley blessed.

I am so sorry for your loss

Cristy
CT Nestie

Jenn said...

I am so sorry for your loss Megan. Love the pic of you as a baby and your grandmother.

blmfdgirl said...

Your entry is a testament to the grandma who loved you so very much. If every grandparent could provide unconditional love and security to their grandshildren what a different world this would be. Alma's legacy to me is to love Katie, Charlotee, and Owen without limit and to always provide them a place of comfort and sanctuary. Until the very end Grandma remembered Jack - "the little boy". She knew she was going to join him. Alma and Jack are within us - always.

monica said...

I am sorry for your loss. You wrote about her beautifully!

Michelle said...

I am so sorry for your loss.
I had a really great relationship with my grandparents. My parents and I lived with them for the first 5 years of my life :) They have been gone for a few years now, miss them both so much.

jjbaur1025 said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Much of what you wrote describes my grandmother (Mommom) to a T, right down to the fact that she's slowly slipping away from us. She is 93.5 and we're lucky to still have her with us though I also miss my grandmother of my youth-the one that also fed me ice cream and watched Young & the Restles and Laurence Welk too. Such a beautiful tribute!

Noelle said...

Hi, I just found your blog through a comment on Heather Spohr's. This is such a beautifully written post. My 92-year-old grandmother passed away last summer, and it was so hard to let her go. She was like a second mom to me, yet in the last five years I barely saw her because we lived 2500 miles (or more at times) apart. This was such a touching tribute. Thanks for sharing :)