We lost my grandma when I was fourteen. At that point in my life I was detached from most of my family. My parents were newly divorced and I was struggling to make it out on the other side. I stopped frequent visits with my Grandma favoring hanging out with friends and causing trouble instead. In that short time my Grandma was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and began to slip away. I remember visiting her house once during her sickness bringing along a short-term high school boyfriend. She had already changed so much and her once strong body was growing weak and frail. It hurt me to see her that way. I didn't visit again until she was in the hospital and unable to communicate with me. I sat by the bed and held her hand thinking about nothing but the ache in my heart and the loss I was feeling. After she passed I slipped quickly from her visitation and funeral. The extreme loss I had felt during that time was too much, and I wanted out. Not only had I lost my family as one, living under the same roof, but now I'd lost my Grandma who I cared for so deeply. I was crushed.
I'd like to say that if I could go back and do it all over differently I would. But the past is the past and I believe that everything truly does happen for a reason. I believe that my Grandma understood and saw my troubles even if I never had the chance to explain myself to her.
Today when I think of Grandma my thoughts are only happy. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to be able to visit her out on the farm, bring Papa Bear to meet her, and to have my littles know their Great Grandma. But instead she will live on through me and the memories I hold in my heart. And you can be sure that my boys know of their Great Grandma they never got to meet and just how wonderful a woman she was. And my sweet gal shares the same middle name as Grandma, Mae. She too will know of her greatness. They will know of all the walks we took to the creek. All of the Eggs we colored each Easter. The way Grandma sang such sweet lullabies. How she almost always allowed us to play taste test even if we were making a disaster of her kitchen in the process, and even making each other sick at times. All of it, I want to share it with them.
I often like to think of how I would spend my time with Grandma now, as a mother myself. Like I said before, she had eight children. Eight children with mostly a year or two in between each, and even less than a year between a couple, talk about a supermama! I would love to hear her take on motherhood. The birth stories of my ma, aunts, and uncles. What her life was like with her littles.. The love story between her and my grandpa. I'd love to go out and spend time with her in the garden and learn from her. Or to wander around the antique shops swapping stories about motherhood and life. I'd love to hear stories of my great-grandparents that I never met, and what they did in raising Grandma, that made her just so special.
Today though, I am happy knowing that if my Grandma were here she would be happy. Today I am wearing my Grandma's old sweatshirt, a Green Bay Packer's shirt to be exact. You see my grandma was born and raised on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. She and Grandpa started a family there. They were Packers fans. And today, while they rest in peace with one another, their headstone reads "Green Bay Packer Backers." And I sit here in Grandma's shirt smiling because I know that she and Grandpa are together again looking down on their earth-side family and celebrating the days big win.
She's my grandma and she was a grand grandma at that. My Grandma Ronnie.
|..and this little gal looks just as good in green and gold as her great grandma once did.|
She's my little Green Bay Packer Backer.