End of an era

Late Friday night I learned that my grandmother had passed away. She celebrated her 90th in January.

As I’ve written before, I’ve been very blessed to grow up with all of my grandparents and two great-grandparents. My grandma grew up as one of (I think) 13 children on a farm in Michigan and went on to raise four children of her own. She taught three generations about the love and joy of being part of a large and often boisterous extended family, the delights of ham sandwiches and the most scrumptious homemade jams and pies you’ve ever tasted, the value of hard work and entrepreneurship — one of my favorite places to go when we visited “up north” was “the store,” a men’s clothing store she and my grandfather owned for many years — and the grace she showed in growing old…even when she began to appear too fragile to carry her infectious laugh.

My grandmother told me more than once that she hated to see me alone in these last few years, including when I spoke to her a week ago. It didn’t matter that I told her I didn’t mind for the most part; I know she hated to be alone and that it’s been hard for her since my grandfather died a few years ago. She worried about me after my divorce and would tell me she prayed for me. I always understood she meant this in the best of ways, so I would thank her…and then sometimes roll my eyes (out of sight). I mean, weren’t there any big, bad, more desperate people she could pray for instead?!

But I’m thinking her prayers may have something to do with where I find myself today — by and large a very, very good place. It’s nice to know I’ll have her and my other grandparents still watching out for me.

(and I hope they’re sharing stories over a game of euchre as I type…)

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15 thoughts on “End of an era

  1. party girl says:

    Oh Susan,

    I am SO sorry to hear about your Grandmother. I also was blessed enough to know most of my grandparents. I was exceptionally close to my mother’s mother. I still miss her, and I do feel that she is one of my guardian angels. Grandparents are one of the greatest gifts a child can ever have in this world.

  2. Party Girl and Cindy: thank you. It’s been tough losing both of my grandmothers in the span of only 3 1/2 months, but they both lived good lives — and long lives. I’m lucky to have had them.

  3. curt says:

    susan — my sincerest condolences. how fortunate you are to have had both of them for such a long time. I am sure that their caring for you and the wisdom that they imparted to you have made you into the wonderful person I have come to know.

  4. Susan,

    Sorry to hear of your loss – God Bless them now that they are with him eternally. I was blessed to be named after both my grandmothers so I carry them with me always. I even named my daughter after one of them (and one of my husbands). Again, my deepest sympathy’s to you and the kids.

  5. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. I was close to one set of my grandparents and I know how important those relationships can be. I had a dream about my grandmother just the other night and it reminded me how much I miss her.

    My grandmother was a religious woman who prayed a lot. I imagine that your grandmother only prayed that you would be happy, not necessarily to “fix” you, and only because she loved you. We all want our loved ones to be happy. I know you will miss her.

  6. Jen says:

    Thanks for doing this post. I miss her dearly! I will always remember her laugh. It makes me smile just thinking about it đŸ™‚

  7. Oh Susan, I missed a day at OWS and I missed so much. I’m so sorry. May your memories and the sound of her laughter in your ears bring you comfort. Thanks for sharing.

  8. MinivanBohemian says:

    I still talk to my (dead) Grandma every day. It has been over a year, now…
    Sometimes she takes her sweet time answering me, though. It’s very rude.
    I have to believe that she hears me and she can still feel my love. I just have to.
    Thank you for sharing your Grandma with us.

  9. Wow, it is so nice of everyone to have posted a comment — thank you!

    And, Bob, yes, that is little ol’ me in the photo with all of my grandparents and my great-grandfather. What a cool find!

  10. Sarah says:

    Thanks for writing about grandma, as I said I always read but never post – well look what grandma is making me do. We all miss her but we know that she is happy now and at peace. This weekend will be about celebrating her not about what we will miss – that is the way grandma would have wanted it.

  11. Dad says:

    After a long week of doing all the things an executor of the last will is supposed to do, preparing and going to the “Wake Service”, going to the Burial Mass and finally the Burial with all of the individaul roses thrown on the decended casket, I was mentally and physically exhausted (as you know riding home with us). But, when we made it home and I started checking e-mails, etc. and finally reading your blog – as your Mom and I always faithfully do (but, we never post except for this one time), it hit me that it was you doing what you do best – communicating how you really felt about specific things – in this case, my Mother and your Grandmother. Thank you!!!
    Love from your parents.

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