My maternal grandmother died this past week. It happened while Scott and I were in England. For some reason, having someone pass away while I'm out of the country seems particularly surreal to me--I also felt that way when my paternal grandfather died while I was in Kazakhstan.
In Grandma's case, she was 91 and had lung cancer and dementia. Things were not going to get better for her, and her last few days were challenging. Though I will miss her, I feel relieved that she will not have to suffer more.
As a small tribute, I decided to write a few of the many Grandma-related memories I have.
1. We went to a family reunion in Montana, where Grandma was living at the time, when I was 11. When we got to her house, Grandma took me outside and showed me a lawn chair she had placed under a weeping willow tree. She told me I could go there any time I wanted to be by myself. I was a very introverted kid (who unsurprisingly turned into an introverted adult), and since I had been an only child for the first ten years of my life, I was used to spending a lot of time alone. I still think how thoughtful and insightful it was for her to provide me a place to get away when I wanted quiet time.
2. When I was 13, my mom, sister, and I went to Montana to visit Grandma. I stayed behind after my mom and sister went home. Grandma let me make myself a root beer float every day. She also let me watch soap operas that I would never have been allowed to watch at home.
3. One time when Grandma called me to chat after Scott and I moved in together, she asked me if we ever fought. Before I could answer, she said, "You're not normal if you don't!"
Rest in peace, Grandma. We'll all miss you.