I miss my grandma. It’s funny to feel such a longing for her now. When she was here I didn’t see her enough, especially after my kids were born. But she was always there and I knew it. She was at every celebration, big and small. I would never be able to count the number of times I called to get a recipe from her; her barbeque sauce, how she got her lima beans so tasty and tender, her to-die-for Brunswick stew.
She was my “grandma,” even though once my youngest aunt had a daughter and two more aunts had kids right behind her, they changed her name to “Nana.” I was 12, and being a rebel was a specialty. My cousin, she and I were the first and only two for so long; she caved to “Nana,” but not me. Grandma was my grandma from birth until her death almost three years ago.
She died at 85 of a blood disease, a type of pre-leukemia. If you follow the morning show, Good Morning America, one of their hosts, Robin Roberts has been out for some time due to the same illness my grandmother had. But Roberts was able to get a bone marrow transfusion. They figured out too late for grandma what her condition was, and she was too old to survive it anyway.
She spent the last years of her life suffering, doing chemo just to hold on to a life she no longer would recognize or enjoy. She thrived on traveling with her husband to all of the grand kids’ and great-grand kids’ birthdays and family celebrations. She wasn’t living so much as existing once she couldn’t do what she loved.
She also adored gardening and she wasn’t supposed to handle fresh vegetables on chemo. That in itself would have killed her.
One might say at 85, she had a long life. But I say she was enjoying life more than ever, so it was a shame to have to say good-bye so early.
My grandma was a beauty in her youth. In pictures she looks like a movie star. Yet I see my own face there. Maybe there’s a little star in all of us, eh? Passed on from generation to generation like a seed. We could all shine as bright as the people we believe shine if we allowed ourselves, I suppose.
And maybe that’s the point of this musing about my grandma. Maybe I’m not just thinking of her today, but my own spirit. The strength I know is passed on from my lineage.
I miss her, but she shines bright in my heart. I miss parts of me too, the parts that have changed and morphed over the years, some days into a person I don’t even recognize. Have I changed or have I just gotten to know myself better and it brings me to a place of newness, of non-recognition?
Just like getting to know my grandma from a different perspective since death, I see parts of myself die off and be reborn again with changes of my heart. My soul becomes more exposed with each step, just like my grandma’s did with each step towards the Light.
Today, I will appreciate Life. I will accept Life for what it brings my way. I will shine the Light of Acceptance on each situation that arises; not passive acceptance, but acceptance with compassion; first for myself (oxygen mask on me first), then on my children and husband, my family, my community, my state, my country, my world, my universe and beyond.
With love and light to my grandma in this life and where ever she may be today. And love and light to you too!