This past week we said goodbye to a beloved Matriarch. My maternal grandmother, affectionately called "Gramy" by all of us finalized her short and aggressive battle with cancer. She had a full life--with all of the ups and downs you can expect of 80 years of life, 60 years of marriage, 4 children (and many more that claim her as a second mother, 15 grandchildren and many many great-grandchildren.
Gramy was a woman of faith, love, poise, adventure and energy. From my earliest memories of her we were laughing and exploring something new. I used to love when she would come to our house and play the piano at nights before we went to sleep.
She had a laugh that would permeate a room and was always welcoming to anyone that graced her doorstep. Many of our friends were treated as family when they visited Washington, DC and were given a tour of the city.
The lessons that she shared passed down from her parents to each of us through the generations. Through Gramy and Grandpa we all learned a wonder-lust for travel and seeing new places. We also learned the value of prayer and a belief in a higher purpose in life. She believed in hard work and taught us all that "Anything worth doing is worth doing well." She was fiercely loyal to those she loved. Education was a high priority, many of us have gone on to receive our bachelors and more because education was promoted.
I am thankful that we could all be there to celebrate her life. The entire family was there together as we gathered. We told stories, cried and laughed--all of the things she would have loved to do with us. It was a bit odd, however, to be in her home without her there. Even more so to see evidence that she was there recently and left thinking she would be right back. Her slippers were still tucked into the corner by the dining room door awaiting her return, the office and laundry room were still set up the way that she always wanted them to be and we were all gathered there--this time without her. A new normal we need to get used to.
We all pitched in to help where we could. Creating the programs, providing meals, giving hugs etc. I was able to do the flowers--that was fun, something to do to keep me busy. It also was a way to show love to her as she loved flowers and bright fun colors. Some of these photos are of us doing flower arrangements together.
So as we say goodbye, it is a new opportunity to remember all we have been blessed with as families. it is also a comfort to know that we can be families forever and that is something Gramy believed in most fervently.