Monday, June 18, 2007

This is life too

The last photo taken with the grandparents. Circa 2002.

Gramma died in her sleep yesterday. She has been in an assisted care facility for the last couple of years. When I visited her last, she was lucid and appeared to know who I was. But there was a spark missing from her gaze, replaced by a glassy stare. The doctors said she could go on for years like that so when her husband died at a different facility, she was spared this knowledge, the family seeing no reason to unduly upset her. I'd like to think grandpa got tired of waiting for her and yanked her upstairs.

I loved going to gramma's house. She could always be found in the kitchen toiling away, her cigarettes nearby and a frosty glass of vodka on the counter. Once after playing outside, I had run in and pounced on her frosty beverage, a big glass of water perfect for my raging thirst. I only thought it was water. I took a huge gulp of what must have been gasoline and spit it out all over the floor. How could she drink that stuff?! After that, I learned to stay clear of gramma's beverage. Gramma's house had a special smell which always warmed something in me, and came to represent the coziness I felt around my grandparents. It wouldn't be until I was an adult that I would recognize this smell as "smoker's house". Now my house smells like hers.

I will carry gramma with me. After all, we have so many shared interests. Scrabble, booze, cigarettes, cruises and a penchant for waking up early. These things will serve to remind me of her. And if dying is anything like the lottery, Gramma hit the 6/49. Apparently, she was in good spirits and lucid before sleeping that night, and she simply never woke up. (The nurses can tell by the final pose if the death had come with difficulty.) Died peacefully in her sleep. If only I can share that one last thing with her.

May you rest in peace Grandma, I will miss you.

37 comments:

Snooze said...

I love your memories of your grandmother.

Kevin said...

Torn, my thoughts and sympathies are with you. It sounds like you had a special relationship with her that you can now only cherish in your memories of her. Carry her with you with pride and know that she will always be with you in your heart.

Remember what I had blogged about earlier? Well, all you have to do is think of her and she will be there for you. Although you may not be able to see her, you will feel the warmth of her love.

Kevin

Lemuel said...

My condolences. I hope most of us share with our grandparents the kind of relationship that you recall fondly in this post.

I hold my memories of my own grandmothers (I never knew my grandfathers - they died before I was born) close to my heart. Often when I am down, I think of them and it makes me happy. May your memories do the same for you.

Ed said...

I only knew one of my Grandmothers. She was full of spit and vinegar. I loved going to her house, it had a special feel and smell. She made Dumplings and Rhubarb pie that were the best I ever tasted.
She died several years ago. As long as we remember our grandparents they aren't really gone.
I'm so sorry for your loss. Your Grandmother would want you to be happy and live well. She's with Grandfather now and forever. "hugs".

Anonymous said...

My Nan has been with God for many years. Being English, she had many sayings and one concerns the first of the month (Druid lore):
If on the month first say true:
"White Rabbits"; Good Luck will follow you through!

For many years I say "white rabbits" as the first words I say out loud on the first of every month. I pray to my Nan. May God grant grace to your Grandma and you. m

St. Dickeybird said...

Congratulations on having such a wonderful Grandmother.

bardelf said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your grandma dying, torn. Leaving this world in the comfort of one's bed, while asleep, is what we should all hope for, when our time comes.

I'm glad that you have so many wonderful memories of her and I trust that you'll keep her spirit and memory alive. She touched you deeply and will always be part of you.

Take care, hon.

Chunks said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. May your fond memories of your Grandma always put a smile on your face and a tingle in your soul.

I loved the vodka spit take, by the way.

Kevin said...

*hug*

Polt said...

Now your gramma can look down on you all the time, her husband at her side, vodka in her hand.

I'm sorry for your loss, but thank you for sharing the memories.

HUGS....

Jason said...

Sorry to hear about your gramma. I have to say, this brought back memories of mine too.

Fatinah said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. How lucky you are to have such lovely memories.

addict said...

What a beautiful tribute!!
((hugs))

GayProf said...

I am sorry to hear about your grandmother's death. This was a really nicely done entry on her.

Christie said...

I am so sorry for your loss. And now you have another angel watching over you.

Curtis said...

My condolences. She sounds like a neat lady.

Dantallion said...

What wonderful memories you have - my sincere condolences, Wordo.

Patricia said...

i think you're absolutely right about your grandpa pulling her home. there's something about a grandma's love that can't be duplicated by anyone else. i love hearing your memories of her. hugs.

Devo said...

Sorry for your loss. What great little stories you shared. Glad she went peacefully and is now with Grandpa.

Vila H. said...

A beautiful epitaph. My condolences.

David said...

She lived a full life and certainly beat the odds, given her predilictions.

I have to say that the idea that a house redolent of cigarette smoke evokes warm memories for you is just a bit off-putting for me.

That being said, I wish I had as fond memories of my grammas as you do. One was mostly bland and a bit saccharine, the other could be absolutely terrifying at times. I still loved them both, but I never looked forward to visitng with them. They also hated each other.

Lewis said...

Oh man, I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother. Very thankful that she died just exactly how my grandma did....peacefully. I'm sending you lots of good thoughts and wishes. And I know exactly what you're saying about the smells....they will never go from our minds.

Willym said...

My condolences, my mother left much the same way when she was 93 and I know my father was waiting impatiently for her. I'm sure your grandpa laid in a good stock of the best vodka and they are joyfully celebrating their reunion.

Scottsdale Girl said...

How very wonderful of you to remember her spirit and focus on that. Rest in Peace Gramma, and hugs to you Torn.

Kevin said...

I'm very sorry to hear of your loss
! How nice that she went so peacefully though, if only we could all have it so easy.

David said...

As with all here, we're sorry for your loss. While my grandmothers house never smelled of smoke, it did have a certain smell that reminded me I was with my nana. I miss that, as much as I miss her -dotty and silly that she was.

May your God go with you, Serge and the entire family.

abnitude said...

so sorry about yor grandmother. you wrote a nice tribute to her and it shows that you will carry her with you forever. i think thats the most important thing, it keeps her alive, always. my deepest sympathy.

robert78 said...

Yeah, beautiful tribute :) . We love you, torn, in that odd, internet kind of way. Our thoughts are with you :) .

Maurice said...

Torn, I've been reading your blog for a little while, but today I'm breaking out of my silence to offer you my condolences. I must say I totally agree with your view that probably your "grandpa got tired of waiting for her and yanked her upstairs." And from what I've read, that is a classic Torn response -- and a beautiful one at that.

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Eloquent post.

Frosty vodka. Yum.

Though Lovers Be Lost said...

My condolences and thoughts are with you today.

Glad you have many fun memories.

Shaney said...

You captured the memories of your Grandma so wonderfully...I am sorry she has passed on but maybe your right - perhaps she did have a guiding light (your grandpa)...My thoughts are with you & your family at this sad time...hugs xoxo

Naked Boy said...

Beautiful post. My condolences. I bet she knew your grandfather had gone and she went to be with him. They are together now.

jali said...

Sweet and touching gramma stuff. I remember the 2 gramma smells that I associated with the dear ones in my life.

I also think g & g are hanging out together now. I'll have a shot of vodka this weekend and toast my grandparents as well as yours.

S. said...

Sorry to hear. Thoughts are with you man!

dawn said...

She sounds perfect.

Tank Montreal said...

Thanks for sharing about your grandmother. You inspire me to blog about my own - my paternal grandmother, who was like a best friend to me. Grandmothers can be real special ladies. It sounds like yours was, too.