Last week, the world lost one of feistiest women I know — my grandma on my dad’s side.
There were a few things she really liked: Coca-Cola, candy, crossword puzzles, Jeopardy, and listening to her Bose radio. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to enjoy those things as she aged and her vision and hearing grew worse.
If she didn’t like something, or someone, she let you know. She was a tough Irish woman, but also incredibly generous.
One of my favorite memories of her was when I was interning in Detroit and stayed with her once a week for a summer to cut down on my weekly commute a bit. We always had fun going to dinner together and she would always wake-up to see me off in the morning. She always joked how she wasn’t too bad “for an old girl,” and always told me interesting stories about her family and growing up.
Her humor, profane at times, always made me laugh.
The past few years have been rough though…Dementia, broken bones, infections, and she had given up on walking. I honestly prayed that God would take her because I knew if she fully understood what was happening to her, she’d be miserable. She wasn’t one to ask for help, and certainly not sympathy.
The night she passed last week, many of my family members awoke at the time she died, including myself, who got wired in the middle of the night. Looking back, we’re all convinced it was her telling us she had moved on to a happier place — somewhere she could have her mind back and walk freely.
Upon hearing the news, I instantly thought about how she would finally be reunited with her daughter she lost to a car accident many years ago. I can’t begin to imagine what that must have been like to experience as a mother, and rest easy knowing they are together again.
Grandma, I’m thinking of you and know you live on through my girls and I. I know there were plenty of people to greet you at the gates of Heaven, and can only hope they had some cold Cokes and Irish music playing to toast you upon your arrival. We’ll see you again one day. Until then, love you.
May the roads rise up to meet you,
May the winds be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet agin,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.
~ Irish Blessing
Grandma and I circa 1986