Reflecting on my Great Grandmother’s Passing

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I have to admit that I think this is the first post that I have written that fits into the “blog” category and not the “website” category. While this post may not be exactly exciting, I wanted to write a little bit about an unfortunate event that happened recently, and talk about a few things.

About two weeks ago, my great grandmother, or as my siblings and I called her, GG, passed away. This was unfortunate, but she lived a long life at 95 years old. She outlived many of her friends, but of course made many more everywhere she went. As my nana said about my GG’s passing, “I like to think of it as her rejoining her friends.”

My GG was a kind and loving person. My mother and nana always told stories about my GG’s love for all of her friends, as well as animals, including a cat she adopted that terrorized many family members. Of course, I must not forget how much she loved everyone in the family, and how much we loved, and still love, her.

Even during her later years, as her vision became impaired, she always complimented me on what I was wearing, or how tall I was getting. She would come to family meals during Thanksgiving and Christmas, and even when she wasn’t with us, she never forgot what occasion or whose birthday it was. She loved lemon cake especially.

My siblings and parents used to visit my GG at her apartment. When we went, she would offer us tea and whatever she had in her fridge, along with mints from a glass bowl. My brother and sister usually hid some in their pockets. Sometimes we would watch TV on the couch, and other times we left the room. There was an open area where there were many beverage machines, along with a space upstairs with jigsaw puzzles and games. We would sip hot chocolate together, and afterwards, my siblings and I would run to the fish tank around the corner. There, we would watch the colorful fish swim around in circles, and the big eel peer out from his hiding spot, a rock cave.

My GG’s apartment held a harvest festival every year. My GG always bought us tickets for the festival. There were many things to do, like painting pumpkins, watching a magic show, petting animals, going on a hay ride, and playing ring toss for prizes. Once there was a pie eating contest. And I can’t forget about the fake cow that you could milk. It was a fairly large cow made out of a plastic board type material.

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Underneath the cow, a large bucket was placed. When you squeezed the rubber udders, “milk” would come out. I assume that this was water colored white. My siblings and I would each milk the cow in turn, one on one side, and the other two on the opposite side. My GG would laugh.

The festival had lots of food under a large white tent. There would be hamburgers, hotdogs, corn, chips, juice, and much more. After getting our food, we would sit on the blankets and chairs that our nana and grandpa brought. When the adults where still eating, I ran up the hill behind our picnic spot with my brother and sister. At the top, we would venture around in the woods for a little bit, where there stone statues of gnomes (I think) stood behind rocks and grass. Then we ran and rolled down the hill.

As her granddaughter, the things I remember about my GG are different from those that my mom and nana tell me. I can’t tell the stories my mom and nana know, because they are not mine to tell. What I can say is that I never regretted a moment with my GG. She was peoples’ best friend, wife, mom, grandma, and great grandma, all at the same time. I never regretted spending time with her, but I wish I had gone to see her more often.

To me, our time seemed short together. And in a way, it was – she had only 14 years as a great grandmother. But the rest of her years are not to be overlooked. In those times, she became someone’s best friend. She became someone’s wife. She became someone’s mother, then grandmother, and she became my great grandmother. She passed as someone who I will always regret having to let go of, but also someone who I will look up to. My mother said, “My gram never hesitated to tell you or show you how much you meant to her.”

My great grandmother’s passing is a sad time for me, as I know it is for many others who knew her as well. But I also think that it is a time to appreciate and celebrate her life. I will never be able to forget my GG, or the love that she gave to others, and the world.


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