It's All Been Done (updated)

August 26, 2008


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…

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6 Responses to “It's All Been Done (updated)”

  1. mp Says:

    Beautiful tribute… My Grandma made it to 96..I miss her. She died in 1980.

  2. Kim H. Says:

    What a lovely tribute to a woman that has undoubtedly made a difference in your life. I find it sad at any age to lose someone you love, but I understand where you’re coming from… she’s lived a wonderfully full life, and for that you can be happy to send her on home to be with those that have gone before her.

  3. Kimberly Says:

    Wonderful put. I think the same things when it comes to my own grandmother who is in Hospice care at the age of 98. She has lived a life with no regrets a great an meaningful life. She has send alot of things come to pass just as your grandmother has. The first airplane, black and white tv to color and so on. I think you should do what i did I got a photo last christmas of all her with all her kids and their spouses, then with the grandkids then with the great grandkids and the great great grandkids then i took a photo of her with my mom me and my daughter it is framed on my desk with the caption 4 generations of lovely women. I know that when its her time to go we will celebrate becaue she would not have died but LIVED !!!

  4. ArtsyDaughter Says:

    Grammie also experienced Y2K. I think that’s pretty cool!

  5. Stephanie Says:

    What a lovely post. My great-grandmother is 96 and I feel like I could have written the exact same thing about her, except adding that she’s had great-great-grandchildren. Including receiving a response back from the President! We had him send her a birthday card for her 90th? 85th? I can’t remember now. (And she’s even British, not American.)

  6. Laurie Says:

    Wonderful post. I hope that this finds you continuing to do well. And raise a glass for me, because she sounded like a wonderful lady who had a full and beautiful life. I do hope to remembered that way someday, too!