Goodbye Grandma Gerty

04.20.07 | Comment?

It has been almost a full work week since my Grandma Gerty passed away, and I’ve been trying to think of the right way to pay tribute to her. I’m not someone who spends a great deal of time exploring the serious side of issues, so some sort of dire role call of the pains of loss is hardly appropriate. In fact, it’d be hardly fair for me to go on and on about how much I will miss her, as I rarely manged to find time to see her at all. Its in her passing that I’ve began to wonder what it is that keeps us bouncing though life, without taking time for the most beautiful of experiences.

To have known my Grandma Gerty was to have known grace and peace. Spending just a few minute with her would ease you mind, and calm your nerves. She always found a way to know and remember what exactly it was you were up to, even though it had been months since you’d last spoken.

(Not that she’d ever suggest to you that she had even noticed what an unforgivably long time it had been since you stopped by last.)

We have a tradition in this family on New Year’s Eve, to melt down lead and then toss it in a bucket of cool water, freezing it. The shape it takes is supposed to tell your future for the year. This year the weather was such that Shaina and I did not feel safe in driving on New Year’s Eve. We didn’t know that this was our last chance to ‘throw tin’ (I know it’s lead, but doesn’t ‘throwing tin’ have a better ring to it?) with Grandma Gerty. That fact has been sticking with me for the past few days. All the times that I could count on another chance to catch up with her have been used up.

On Easter, we went to visit her at the care center, and when I saw her, I knew it was for the last time. I knew that my Grandma Gerty was not planning to hang around a lot longer. Not like that. So it was that I just sat, watched her and listened (closely, she wasn’t speaking very loud anymore). I hope that I can have as much serenity at the end of my travels as she displayed. Every movement was hard. Every word was hard, but she made very sure to keep on movin’ and talkin’. She had guests, after all.

After I heard the news of her passing, I began to want to feel sorry for myself. That never really bore fruit. Instead I found myself regretting all the lazy days that could have spared a few hours to just pop by and see her. We had come over a few times for things like reading a Christmas letter or a birthday, but just not enough.

(Not that she’d ever let on for a second that she maybe agreed.)

Now, she’s gone and it is the time for remembering. The quiz books with invisible ink. The cool puzzles. The wonderfully odd games games we used to play. (I mean really, a dice bowling game?) Blueberries. A great cook. And of course, Ovaltine. I can not ever remember a moment in my life where she didn’t seem to support and love me, even if what i was up to was “interesting”.

I’m not certain I ever really said it before, but I love you grandma.

(And of course she always made sure I knew she loved me, too)