Today was an odd day. It started with very bad news, which I can share, and very good news, which I can’t. (I can tell you that the good news isn’t mine, but it makes me happier than I have words for right now.) The bad news is that my grandmother on my dad’s side, my Grandma, passed away this morning. I’m having a hard time with it, but not as much because of her passing as because of my lack of grief. My Grandma has had Alzheimer’s for roughly the last ten years, and for the last seven or eight of those years, she hasn’t known me. We only saw her once a year as it was because my dad’s side of the family lives so far away, so that plus the Alzheimer’s didn’t add up to a lot of remembering. The last four years or so, she didn’t even know her own name. So in some ways, I let go of my Grandma a long time ago, and I don’t have a lot left to mourn. And in other ways, it’s…I don’t want to say it’s a relief, because that seems wrong. But visiting was always hard, especially for my dad, and it’ll be nice to visit my aunts without our “daily depression” as my dad puts it. And to be honest, living with advanced Alzheimer’s is really no way to live.
I always had a better relationship with my dad’s mom than I ever did with my mom’s mother, even though we see my mom’s parents every week. My dad’s mom was just more maternal, more grandmotherly. She was always happy to see us, always took us to Pizza Hut, and always made me bacon for breakfast when I visited. My Grandma and I are a lot alike, both physically (short, busty, round face, blue eyes) and in personality (always ready to go on a trip, nosy, domestic, and independent). My Grandma is the reason I knit. She always knit and crocheted and made toys and quilts, and I wanted to do it, too. She didn’t teach me, because we lived so far away, but it was a nice surprise for her when I made my first visit after I had taught myself. She was happy that I was knitting too, and impressed that I taught myself out of a book.
Grandma got married at 13 (I know) and had 11 kids (I KNOW), 9 of whom made it to adulthood (she had twins that died at birth), and 8 of whom I’ve met (my Uncle Finley died in Vietnam). So with that kind of a background, she was always after her kids and grandkids to get married. Even when the Alzheimer’s started to set in, in the early stages when she still knew who I was, she would always ask me the same three questions: “What day is it? What year is it? Do you have a boyfriend?” I never had the answer she wanted when she knew who I was, but I always made sure I told her, “And by the way grandma, I do have a boyfriend!” when I would visit, even when she was to the point where she didn’t know her own name. I like to think it made her happy.
Grandma was also awfully smart. She managed and ran several stores on her own, even with really no schooling because of being married at 13. She was loving and fun, but willful and stubborn. She was a family woman, but still liked her independence. There is an awful lot of my Grandma in me, and that makes me happy. She was a pretty cool lady. :)
Scott and I have discussed baby names, and one of my favorites for girls has always been Isabelle, which was my Grandma’s middle name. I’m glad that I’ll be able to incorporate that into my own family someday. Maybe my Isabelle will be a knitter too.
…Well, okay. Probably my Isabelle will be a knitter. This is me we’re talking about. ;)
Mirrored from winged orange.