Monday, March 22, 2010

My part of the story

This is my grandmother, she wasn't squishy, cuddly or kissy. She didn't take me out for tea, make me dolly dresses or braid my hair. She taught me how to cook, she made me fall in love with reading, she encouraged me to be strong when the pieces of our family were falling apart.

There are other people who know her differently; the funny bingo lady, the woman who could make a mean tuna melt, the girl with the dark eyes and big smile who drew pictures in her geography book, the wife, the mother, the friend, the student, the neighbor.

I can't tell those stories, only they can, but I can tell you about the woman I knew and loved and who left us on a rainy spring day. She died in her home the home she loved and grew up in, she was 90. The last time I was with her she had folded into a state of non communication so I read her the velveteen rabbit and told her that we would all be ok. I said, "Gram when you are ready to leave this old body all you have to do is take a deep breath and fly away" The next evening the nurse who stayed with her that night told us she reached up for something and left. Was it an angel, her mother or maybe she was simply standing on the precipice of some new and wonderful beginning, spread her wings and reached for the next part of life.