On one hand I feel great joy that my dear grandma passed away from this life peacefully surrounded by her husband and children, joy that she is once again with those loved ones that are already beyond the veil, and joy for the wonderful life she lived here, and all that now awaits her.
On the other hand I feel great sorrow that I was not there to say a final goodbye, sorrow that my grandpa has been left without his beloved companion of so many years, and sorrow that I won't be joining with the rest of the family to pay tribute to, and celebrate, the life that was hers.
But the sorrow will pass. I believe marriage is eternal, that families continue to be families beyond the grave, and just assuredly as we must all pass through death, that one day our bodies and spirits will be reunited in perfect form.
My grandma was an amazing woman, an incredible violinist, a loving wife, mother, and grandmother, and had the most amazing green-thumb of anyone I have ever known. Despite pain or hardship, she always looked beautiful, had a smile on her face, a positive comment, and a sincere compliment to share with whomever she was speaking to. She took life as it came - never with a word of complaint.
I remember Sunday dinners at her house growing up. She always went all out - roast, homemade mash potatoes and gravy, rolls, salad, dessert. There was always dessert. And if that wasn't enough, she always had marshmallows waiting her pantry for the grandkids.
At Christmastime her house was always filled with homemade sweets. She was known for her divinity. I've always thought it tasted just like heaven - so perfectly sweet, and slowly melts away on your tongue.
She taught me the importance of learning. Every month (for as long as I can remember, and even to this day), my grandpa and her would meet together with several other friends for "study group". It was always a very important event, and if our visit happened to fall on the same evening as "study group" it would always be cut short so as not to interfere with her group. I never knew what "study group" actually meant (and to be honest - I still don't know what it is they study), but I knew that my grandma never considered herself too old to study and learn.
My grandma loved the color green. I remember as a child looking in her closet once and being amazed that almost everything in there was green.
I have so many happy memories of her. Annual trips to Bear Lake, Easter and Christmas at her home, birthday cakes filled with hidden money wrapped in tin foil, shopping the malls every December with her and my mom for the perfect birthday dress, and homemade ice cream on her porch in the summertime.
Is it any wonder why I choose her as a namesake for my firstborn?
Grandma, I love you and will miss you!