Losing a loved one (peacefully, quietly, late in life) is an interesting experience.  There is sadness – of course there is sadness – but there is also joy in remembering, and in celebrating one more time all of the things you shared with that person.  Things you’ve forgotten.  Things you may not have even known you shared.

Many things were shared at my grandmother’s memorial service last week – remembrances from family and friends, people I love and people who are complete strangers to me.  People whose lives were touched by an amazing woman.

I’m glad I attended the service.  If I hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t know that someone out there in the world believes that my grandmother saved her life.  And I wouldn’t have heard the pastor choke back his own tears as he spoke of how my grandmother made everyone around her feel like family.

You know you’ve lost someone special when the pastor chokes up during the eulogy.

I learned one more thing last week . . . my grandmother kept all of these:

Letters and cards and drawings I sent to her and my grandfather, a whole stack of them.  There were stacks for each grandchild, and probably for my dad and uncles as well – although I stopped paying attention the moment this was handed to me, I was so surprised.  I mentioned before that my grandmother wasn’t cuddly and didn’t coddle – I could barely imagine that she had saved, well, this:

That’s right, it says “this is dog. . . it has four squares”.  (Namo and Bampy are family names, you can’t make fun of me for that.)

There were thank you cards and post cards and teddy bear stationery with scrawled notes complaining about my dad making me eat a sandwich where the jelly had leaked through the bread.  And my high school graduation announcement.  Documentation of an entire lifetime . . . my lifetime . . . worth of sharing.  But the one that really got me was this one, which I found somewhere in the middle of the stack:

My birth announcement.  My grandmother saved my birth announcement.  For 37 years.

She didn’t coddle and she didn’t cuddle.  But she loved, all the same.

I’ll be back with recipes and upbeat topics, pinky swear.

One year ago on C&T:  Caramel Pecan Cheesecake Blondies


2 thoughts on “Remembrances

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