It helps to know that she lived a long and happy life and that she was healthy until the very end and that she was ready to go -- but I am still going to miss her, terribly. Grandmothers are such special people in our lives, and this was my last living grandmother -- my mother's mother. (My mother died four-and-a-half years ago.)
At first, I felt totally alone. I'm now the oldest surviving female in my branch of the family tree. But if I look to adjacent branches, there are aunts and female cousins galore. And I share my tree branch with three amazing sisters, to say nothing of a Dad who is extremely kind and soft-hearted underneath his practical and efficient exterior. (He's a 1951 vintage engineer.)
And when I zoom in on my twig, I have an adorable daughter, who has emerged from her goth-colic period to become a thoughtful 19-year-old; three boys who are at the stage at which they can not be written about -- but who know how I feel about them; and a husband who has managed to survive almost 21 years of marriage to a writer who is either wearing her heart on her sleeve or spilling it on the page. (Lucky him, huh?)
And then there are my friends -- my ever-patient friends, who hang in there when I get depressed or am busy writing or am incredibly enthused about a project or....whatever. I am blessed with truly great friends.
So while both my grandmothers and my mother are no longer here and my heart feels lonely right now, I know I'm not alone. And I can still draw upon the amazing lessons that I've learned from these three women who have left an amazing imprint on my life -- who taught me important lessons about justice, fairness, and respect; and what it means to be part of a family.
And I can look at my own children and see evidence that they understand this, too -- that it's the human connections that matter most in life: either the family you were born into or the family you create for yourself through your circle of friends. So the legacy of these three women -- Mabel and Netta and Barbara -- will carry on through my lifetime and my children's lifetimes.
| posted by Ann D @ 12:22 PM