Edited 10/2015: My Grandma is kicking ass! She’s got an amazing attitude and is determined to live life as long as possible. She is even the proud owner of an iPad and we can FaceTime on a regular basis. God is Good!
One of my earliest memories was at preschool. I was three years old and laying on a cot, stomach reeling in pain and crying for my mom. Not long after, my grandmother, “Grandma D,” walked through the door. She was an angel there to rescue me. She recounted the story to me often as a little girl and recalled that something just called her to my preschool that morning. She left her work and saved me from the fear of being all alone and sick at school. I always felt loved with my Grandma D. I spent Wednesdays with her as a baby and we made some of my favorite memories together. Being the first and only grandchild for 5 years gave me lots of one on one time with her.
I can solely attribute my love of reading and writing to her. I loved picking through her books and finding a new one to read. In our days together, we would write stories together about made up creatures like pink erps and I loved riding my bike the 10 minutes to her home to leave little love notes on her front door. My husband likes to kid with me about keeping things. I’m not a hoarder but more of a “holder,” I like to hold on to things and I’ve never been more glad to keep those memories.
I received the sad news about my Grandma D’s terminal diagnosis just a few weeks ago. I had a FaceTime visit with her on Christmas Day, kept short due to her being so weak, and we recounted our shared memories and she told me she still had all the little notes I had written her. She wasn’t the only one who kept those memories after several moves. As soon as I got home after our FaceTime call, I crawled under our basement stairs to my bin labeled “Joanna Misc Memories.” It was there I found cards and letters both of my grandmas had written. An especially touching card was one sent to me exactly 22 years prior to the day I read it, about living life to the fullest.
I’ve always loved my Grandma’s penmanship, but her advice was always incredible. It’s almost surreal to read her advice to a twelve year old girl as a wife and mother of 2 while on a flight to Florida to say goodbye to my beloved Grandma D. I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity to say my goodbyes in person but this is the first time I’ve had to say goodbye to a grandparent and it’s hard.
Thank you God for giving me 34 years with my grandparents.