Monday, November 1, 2010
How I Remember Grandma
My grandmother passed away Saturday afternoon.
I feel more relief than anything else. She had become more and more withdrawn in recent years. The beginning of the end was two years ago, when she went to an extended care facility. Once admitted, she raised the white flag. She was in pain, her health was awful, and she was surrounded by strangers. There was no use in trying.
Those last years were hard to watch. I'm not going to speak for my family, but I will say that they nearly obliterated the memories I had. On Saturday, they came flooding back: the Christmas Eves that were as decorative as a Macy's window display; the countless games of War and dominoes that she played with my brother and I; the goofy faces she'd make; the trips to Carvel for Flying Saucers. She was a lovely, fun grandmother. I had almost forgotten that.
And movies were involved. Every time I see "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" and "The Wizard of Oz," I think of Grandma. My brother and I would watch them giddily every time we slept over, the clock happily spilling over into the wee hours. There was Ritz crackers and cream cheese. And fun. Lots of fun. I didn't want to be anywhere else.
I remembered all those things over the weekend, and it made me smile. I knows she's up there watching old movies (I don't think her video collection featured anything past 1955), eating chocolate, and doing her word searches. It may sound naive, but that makes me happy. Why? Because that would make her happy, I think, and she deserves it.