We buried my grandma today. She died* on Tuesday, August 25, and my world got just a little bit smaller that day.
There was no funeral to mark the passing, but I can't let this day pass without recording a few thoughts about the woman who helped make me who I am. It's funny because as I reread that sentence it sounds so much more formal and "together" than I really am. Inside I'm a mix of being okay and raw at the idea of having someone so close to me no longer there. She was there every day of my life...from driving me to and from school to later watching Jenny Jones with me in the afternoon when I came home for a break between classes. Even after I moved away, there was comfort in knowing she was there. She was there for every major life event, never faltering in her support, and now all I can think about is how she won't be there to share my getting married or get to tickle her great grandchild**. She's better off now, but what about me?
My grandma was the friendly one. She was the person who would strike up conversation with a stranger in line at the grocery store while my mom and I looked on, wary and skeptical. She was both a bitch on wheels and a woo-er. She snagged my grandpa at the young age of 15 with her charm and was a nursing home favorite with all the staff in her last couple of years.
She was a strong woman who always told me I could do or be anything I wanted. She was a Navy wife, a preacher's woman, owned a restaurant, raised an amazing daughter, and helped raise her grandkids.
It's my mom and grandpa I worry about most now. My mom lost a mother and a best friend, and my grandpa lost his partner of 61 years. One of my favorite recent memories of her is playing Uno as family when I went to visit at the beginning of this month. Crafty and cunning even as her body was ready to call it quits, she was vicious competitor who liked to pump her arm every time she won a game (and she did win most of them) and knew enough to trick me into thinking she was going to lose by faking a "loopy" spell. Man, she would have kicked ass at Poker.
I love her and miss her, but such is life. I'm just glad I got to spend the years I did with her. Not everybody is so lucky.
*It seems so much more frank than "passed away".
**IF I ever decide I want children.