My grandmother passed away on February 9th. Saturday was her Memorial Mass and luncheon. Some readers might recall that my Grandfather, her husband of over 60 years, died over Labor Day weekend. That feels like too much loss, but then again it seems fitting. 62 years together? How could they really spend more than 6 months apart?
I shouldn't say that I'm not sad, because I am sad. But, I'm not overcome with sorrow. My grandma was ready. She was fearless. She knew where she was going. She had zero doubt. Zero. Such faith isn't something a person sees everyday in such a raw form. Sure, I have faith everyday, in little things. But faith like that? Faith that overcomes fear, especially the fear to die, which is probably many people's greatest fear of all, is, quite simply, remarkable. And dignified. And inspiring.
My grandmother was a dentist. February 9th is Saint Apollonia's day, the Patron Saint of Dentistry. My grandmother was the first American woman to be inducted into Omicron Kappa Upsilon, the National Dental Honor Society. How fitting that she passed away on the day dedicated to the Patron Saint of Dentistry, a career she loved.
I learned so much from my grandmother. If you are or were lucky enough to be close with your grandparents, I'm sure you learned so much from them too. Grandparents are special like that. They are a little more laid back than our parents, perhaps it's their wisdom that allows them to be more laid back. They know it'll all be okay.
My grandmother was a very proud woman. She taught me pride. Not the sinful, gloating kind, but the quiet kind. The kind that lies deep inside my soul and reminds me that I come from "good stock", that I know exactly who I am, and I can handle anything. She also taught me to cook. Even as recently as early February, I'd call her and share a new recipe I'd just tried, or get her opinion on how to tweak an old favorite. She would joke that she worked all her life so I could do anything I wanted in life, and all I want to do is bake pies for my husband! Only, she loved that about me. She was this accidental feminist, blazing a trail for professional women everywhere, only she loved being a mother most of all. Luckily she was able to do both. It was our little secret that baking pies for our husbands was really the most rewarding of all.
Grandma, I miss you everyday, but you are in my heart. You would have loved the Memorial Mass. You would have loved the luncheon (the food was delicious, by the way). And you would have been so proud of me, because I truly took the time to celebrate your life. How could I not? It was so very well lived.
2 weeks ago