So I decided to write about it the passing away of my grandma on Friday, April 23, 2010. Without too much detail of the actual event, except that my dear grandma was so ready to go to heaven. She had had almost a year since her bypass: God had given her a little longer here on earth. Now, her heart was bad again, and she was anticipating heaven. This time they couldn’t save her body from passing away, and she is now in glory. And my grandpa cannot wait to join her. His reaction: after over 50 years of marriage to the love of his life, he’s joyful that she is in heaven. I know that’s how we all feel. But that’s not just how he feels, that was his reaction when he heard the news. Calm, unwavering faith: that’s my grandpa. Why can’t I be more like that?
I’ve always heard that children can sense when you need an extra hug. I’ve experienced it before, but not to this extent. I usually have to send a few children back to their seats after a few sweet hugs. But today, despite my refusing to smile most of the day, they seemed to sense I needed them. I didn’t tell them my grandma had died. They are only 4. Their parents can tell them about death, but I didn’t feel right talking about such things with them. Still, they seemed to know. I got countless hugs and I love you’s (and not “te quiero.” nope, no “te quiero” today. today, of all days, they started telling me “te amo” for the first time) from the usual ones, a few others, and EVEN the one who usually winces if I so much as touch his shoulder. I almost fell over from the “attack of hugs,” smiling, sending them back to their seats. They would sit down only to get up and give me another hug. After a few bear hug attacks, it amazes me how sensitive to others my kids can be. Sometimes the one’s you think don’t care, are there for you right then, at the moment you most need them. Thank you, P-4. I love you too.
Grandma, I can’t help but think of your flowers when I think of you. Beautiful, brilliant flowers every spring, planted, watered, and weeded by the same faithful, loving hands year after year. I was a poor student. I would spend hours with a master gardener, being taught the names of every flower in the gardens and the seasons of every fruit and veggie she had planted, and I took it for granted. I also failed, until the last few years, to enjoy the peaceful quiet of the country farm. I’ve always liked visiting, or climbing the silo with my cousins, or playing with my nieces and nephews there. But to just sit and admire the land that for decades my mother/aunt/uncles, grandparents, great-grandparents, had spent endless hours caring for, sowing, harvesting, maintaining. Loving.
If I ever get my own land, no matter how big, I hope I care for it as my grandparents did their home.
Even in my confused wanderings around the world, through life, they were always there, asking me when I would wander back through NEPA to visit them, offering their home many times. Grandma would even contact me via e-mail.
A few years ago, Grandma learned to use a computer so she could communicate with her family and friends who were far away. My uncle, their oldest son, taught Grandma to use it. Grandma would laboriously tap out a lovely letter, proofread it so that everything was PERFECT, and battle with the computer to send it to her loved ones. This process could take an hour or more I would guess, but she ignored the pain in her arthritic fingers and the annoyance of a slow computer. As she sat there, she would sometimes have to battle the tiredness that comes from mowing, planting, weeding, watering, sending and grading Bible lessons for the mail, cooking, cleaning,…. She would do it because she loved us. And I never quite appreciated it all as much as I do now.
I love you, Grandma. I’ll see you again someday. Enjoy heaven’s gardens!