I’ve been a little quiet the past week or so for a reason; my grandmother, “Granny”, passed away at the end of last week and it was a rough week for me. I wasn’t prepared to blog about it until now, and I still know what I write won’t do her justice, but I do want to capture what I’m feeling now.
I loved Granny very much and she was a very special lady to many. She was a military wife, had a very successful and decorated career as an art teacher, and was a mother of five. I’m just one of her nine grandchildren.
I struggled and continue to struggle with her passing last week, but my husband told me something that resonated: “the best thing you can do is to emulate her best qualities and she’ll live through those.” If you knew Granny, you might know what I mean by her best qualities. She made your day brighter each time you saw her, and she was the type that would truly give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. She loved her family fiercely, and embraced friends with open arms. She’d always make you feel like the most special person in the world when you walked through the door and never stopped smiling; her enthusiasm for life was unending. She was very selfless, very strong, and very proud of her family and students.
I was fortunate to live near my Granny & Papa during college, and spent a lot of time at their house during holidays and breaks since my family was stationed in Korea then Guam. Granny was there to let me come home for weekends when I just needed a break from college life, to stay up for late night visits when I was having boy problems, and to proudly support me at awards ceremonies and graduation. And she always sent me back to school with a couple loaves of banana nut bread for good measure; Granny was always a giver.
For the past few years, Granny fought health issues and stayed strong despite a lot of pain, and a lot of ups and downs, but always had a smile one her face for her family. She was 83 when she died.
Saying goodbye last weekend was extremely difficult, but my family was touched that so many loved ones and friends attended her memorial and said how much of an impact she made. She is truly missed, but I know she will always be with me and is a part of me. I’m thinking about her a lot lately, especially when cooking and when chatting with other people, because those are things she really loved and was good at. I know she’s there when I smile and try to make others feel special or when I add that extra little bit of love to a recipe.
Life is short, yet we can choose to make it rich and fulfilling like she did, having influenced and loved so very many.
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
― Mae West