Last week my grandmother celebrated her 96th birthday. Yesterday she was moved to Hospice.
In the midst of all the turmoil around recent events such as we’re having surgery, we’re not having surgery, we’re fine, we’re not fine, there’s a decision to make, no let’s wait for the doctor… it’s occurred to me that it’s hard to be sad for a woman who is dying at the age of 96.
At 96 there is no more “what might have been”. She has seen and done almost everything significant in life there is to do. She has
Been a child, teenager and adult.
Married and then been widowed for 30 years.
Been a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
Seen her grandchildren get married and have children of their own.
Gone to camp as a child and at the age of 80.
Written letters to the White House AND gotten a response.
Traveled by plane, train and bus. But never driven a car.
Outlived all her family and friends.
Actually found a grandchild who could be taught to knit.
Been alive for more presidents than I can count on two hands.
Worked and retired.
Volunteered and given of her time and talents.
Kept the business of printing $2 bills alive.
Loved us all. Those she came by naturally, and those we brought into the family. She loved us all the same.
It is sad that Leah and Benjamin won’t know her as well as the grandkids do, but when the time comes to finally say goodbye to Grandma, it will only be through a few tears – mostly because she’ll get to see her beloved husband again after all these years. And she’s needed more there than here now.
Don’t worry, Grandma. We’ll be fine. You did a great job.
And we’ll take it from here.
Update: My grandmother died tonight surrounded by those she loved and who loved her. Think she read that last part? And tomorrow night we will toast with a pina colada (her favorite drink) and a shot of Hennessey (his favorite) to a love rejoined. I can only imagine the smile on their faces…