My Grams passed away one week ago today in Milwaukee, WI. Her funeral was yesterday in West Palm Beach, Florida. I wasn’t able to attend my grandfather’s funeral in FL this past June because I was 40 weeks pregnant, so the last family funeral I attended was my other Grammy’s back in 2002. Needless to say, I was anxious and nervous as to how it would go. But, I honestly think everything went so well. It would have been a celebration/memorial that my Grams would have been proud of.
Family flew in from California, Maryland, Texas and Wisconsin and there were friends of my grandparents from when they were kids and more recently from their “life extension” (as my uncle calls it) in Florida. People shared stories of Grams, they cried for our loss, smiled at our luck of having such an amazing woman in our lives for so long, and honored her life.
Hearing all of the stories and going through all the old photos really helped me to remember my Grams for who she was before Alzheimers. She was full of life and spunk. She had this way of saying things that was so matter of fact… it made things of such little significance to the world seem so important because they were important to her. She loved to laugh and loved to be surrounded by people. She always had a million friends. Her phone was constantly ringing with girlfriends who wanted to chat or vent or just check in. Grams was an amazing cook. She wasn’t the best at timing the food to come out at once, but it never mattered. You just kept eating and eating until the “courses” stopped coming. She was so artistic… an amazing painter, she could hem a pair of pants in no time, and dabbled in anything she had the opportunity to try, whether it was ceramics or jewelry making. Grandma was also very giving. She would literally give you the shirt off her back or, more likely, the bracelet off her wrist. It was not uncommon to hear Grams say, “You like it? Take it!” or, “You like it? Let’s get you one!” Grams was special. She was beautiful and loving and really had a full life.
Yesterday, someone referred to Grams passing as tragic. I have to say, I disagree. Tragic was the disease that stripped Grandma of her spark these past few years… but her passing, it would have been what she would have wanted. It was quick and seemingly painless. It was no-fuss. I think Grams would have approved. And more importantly, it was after an amazing life… 67 years married to SUCH a loving man, two pretty awesome kids, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
I know I mentioned this in a previous post, but Charlotte truly was a little ray of sunshine during this difficult time. She timed her smiles, coos and conversations perfectly to lift us up when things were feeling like a bit too much. And man was she a trooper. On Tuesday, she only slept 9.5 hours the entire day (including night time). This is a girl who typically sleeps 14-16 hours a day. Regardless, she was happy as a clam for the majority of the time and at her worst, just a little fussy. We couldn’t have asked for anything more from this tiny person. I will write more in another post about traveling with our little 3.5 month old babe, but for now, let’s leave it at this… I’d do it again!