Yesterday we all gathered to pay respect to our matriarch and to say our final goodbyes. It was so hard but I think all in all, it went just the way she wanted it to. We sat respectfully in her church during the service, but still had some much needed silly moments here and there as we snuck treats before the luncheon or passed candy and silly faces down the church pews... She was the master of sneaky silliness here and there and I know she was laughing up in heaven over our innocent mischievous ways.
It's really hard to do justice to her personality if you've never met her.
She was stubborn. She was generous. She was tough. She was hysterical. She was a proud Christian. She was an expert mitten knitter. She could turn almost any pantry item into bread or soup. She was all of 4 foot 11 but no one that knew her would dare cross her. Basically, she as just this intense force of a woman and it seemed like she'd live on forever. Unfortunately, that's just not the case.
Early last summer we got the news that she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. True to the fearless woman she was, she decided against treatment. Strong in her faith, she was not afraid of death. In fact, with a little smirk on her face she told me she would have three men fighting over her when she got up there ( she was widowed three times). It's hard not to smile when I imagine that scenario, lol.
The hardest part of her diagnosis for me was fear of the unknown. It was so hard to imagine her in a frail state.She gave her cancer one heck of a fight. About three months ago it became too much for her and she was hospitalized. Little did we know then, but that's where she would stay for the remainder of her life.
My family did such an amazing job making sure she knew how loved she was in those last few months, and I am so grateful for them for that. She had 6 children, multiple step children, and more than 40 grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren. At times her hospital room was so full of people we spilled out into the hallway. I'm sure it was a site to see for the hospital staff but it was pretty normal to all of us.
I can say without hesitation, our world is a little... less, without her here. She'll never be far from us though.
Grammy, I love you forever.