I've had a hard time getting back into the swing of things. I was already feeling a little out of it coming back from Mexico, but then on my first day back at work, I got the call. A call in the middle of the day from my dad (neither of which ever happen). I knew from the second I saw the caller ID that something was wrong. He told me that my grandmother died, that my mom was up at the hospital with her when she passed away and that the funeral would be in the next few days. He'd keep me posted on all the rest and my mom would call me that night. We hung up, and I was heartbroken. I knew she was sick. I knew this was coming... she was 83, after all, and lived a full life. But no matter how ready you may think you are, when that call comes, you're left feeling stunned.
And sad. Oh so sad. Sad that this woman who has always been in my life - greeting me every time I walked in the door with giant bear hugs and kisses on the cheek, talking with me about whatever was on my mind no matter how busy she was, teaching me about birds and animals and flowers - was now gone. Sad that my mom has now lost both of her parents in a little over a year, and even though she's nearly sixty is left feeling like an orphan. And so sad that I wasn't able to get right over there at that second to see her, and hug her and tell her how much I love her.
In the days leading up to the funeral services, we talked a lot about my grandma and the influence she had on all of us. We shared stories and special memories and looked at stacks and stacks of pictures. I learned so much about the woman she was... besides just the Grandma I knew. She was a farmer's wife who believed her greatest accomplishment was her family. She was a community leader and advocate for women's rights with a voice that left a brighter future for many. She received many awards for her hard work.
Sharing these stories reminded us to celebrate my grandma and cherish the lessons she taught. Devotion to family. Fighting for what you believe in. Living each day to the fullest. I know that I'll never have her back, but she is in my heart and in my mom's, and the love we share as a family will keep her spirit alive.