5.11.10

rest in peace, grandma

my grandma passed away a week ago. i woke up saturday morning to the message from grampa saying she had gone peacefully, and he was right there with her.

i want to share a few thoughts in her memory:

grandma wasn’t the grandma that would spoil us to no end, nor did she knit us sweaters and socks for Christmas. she didn’t fit any stereotype for a grandma, but she was definitely the perfect grandma for me. as for my fondest memories, i’d have to say Christmas was one of them – my favorites were the partitioned three-flavor popcorn cans that we had to ration out slowly so it wouldn’t be gone in 5 minutes between the four of us kids; and the fruitcake because no one else ever made it for us; driving through the decked-out neighborhood all excited after a 4 hour drive; and watching cool tv like the travel channel (because we didn't have tv). i remember the toys in the spare room ; they were probably dad’s when he was little, and yet i was able to draw so much entertainment from them. i especially loved the pop-up camper toy. and one time we sat down and looked at old pictures of my great grampa and lots of other people in our family. I only barely remember the house you had when you had a cat, but I’m sure I had fun there. something about a pool table maybe? it was always cool to hang out in the RV whenever you came to visit, too!

when you’re little you take grandparents for granted. you visit them, they visit you. they send you birthday cards every year without fail. that makes me wonder why i never sent you any birthday cards. as i’ve gotten a little older, i’ve gotten to know those things about you that showed you are a true fighter, right up until the end. maybe it’s the irish in you, but maybe it’s just you. you’re spirited. and I admire you for that. you lived a good and full life and left your mark. you sure raised my dad well! i love you dearly, and i'll see you on the other side.

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i've never really faced grief like this before. though i wouldn't call it grief because the word just doesn't resonate with me. at any rate, i'm somewhere between denial, social withdrawal, and depression. i'm trying to keep myself busy and occupied with things i enjoy, but as soon as i'm alone i feel empty and fall apart. it's hard being so far from my family and those friends i can cry all over... and i've not been getting many hugs because this is france. when i decide to have a crying session, nothing comes out. and then there's the needing to talk to someone but not knowing what to say. i just want to be held so can let it out on someone's empathy. the slightest bit of stress bewilders me, too. we'll get through this with time.

to my family, i love you guys a bunch. aunt connie and uncle kevin and your families too!

grampa, i wish i could be there. i'm really proud of you, being so faithful and true to your love, right up till the end.

love,

danielle

3 comments:

  1. This is amazing thank you for sharing. Those were actually my toys from when I was a kid... I think your dad took apart everything he had to figure out how it worked.
    I too know how it's hard being away from family. Just remember there is no right way to go thru this, but try to remember her and the mark she left on this world thru her family.

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  2. I remember all those toys, too. And the books, and the little rocking chair that was my dad's (I remember being small enough to fit in it!). I remember their old house really well, too; and how all the grownups would hang around downstairs playing pool, while I swiveled around and around on a barstool. I liked that house.

    Not being on the spot is really rough ... makes me homesick.

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  3. Dear Danielle,
    I just commented a long one, but I wasn't registered to comment, so it erased. Suffice it to say, thank you. We too are overseas and find it difficult to be so far and out of touch, literally. I do feel a calm peace and lots of love and gratitude for the woman who raised my husband, passed on her faith and values, and completed her life with courage, faith, and hope.
    I was a French major, too, and so am quite interested in the rest of your "blague." (I hope it's mostly true!) I never lived in France, but by the border in Germany and visited it quite a bit.
    Within a walk of our home, there is a Paris Boulangerie, a strange mix of French and Korean. I had "sweet potato and glutinous pastry." The croissant was delicious, but they also had hot dogs on pastry and pizzas left out for apparently long periods. It was not a cozy bakery, but all urban-techno plastic.
    Have you seen BBC's Ma France. I believe it takes place in Lyon, and is what I do to try to keep up my French a little.
    Love,
    Auntie Alison

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