A few weeks ago my mom casually mentioned that it was the 10-year anniversary of my grandmother's death. 10 years. I could hardly believe it. She's been on my mind ever since. Actually, she's on my mind a lot, but especially so over the past few weeks.
By the time Abel and I met, all our grandparents had died. I truly wish that he had been able to meet my grandparents, especially my maternal grandparents. I wish they had gotten to meet him and Lucas. I wish I had gotten to meet Abel's grandparents, especially his maternal grandmother. I am so jealous of people my age or older who still have living grandparents. But I wouldn't trade or change anything about my grandparents for the world, so I try to just be grateful for the time I did have with them.
Several months before my grandmother died, perhaps it was even the last time I saw her, she gave me a great gift. This wasn't an item but rather a feeling of great comfort. I remember so clearly that she and I were sitting at her kitchen table one morning. My mom was puttering around the sink or stove. Out of the blue my grandmother said to me, "I want you to remember that it will not be a tragedy when your grandfather and I die. We have lived long and full lives."
By this point my grandmother had battled five different kinds of cancer and had lost her larynx to one of those cancers. She spoke with a little contraption which was essentially a vibrating straw she put in her mouth. It provided the vibration necessary to give the words she mouthed a sound. She was difficult to understand--especially when she started talking out of the blue like that. But this time I understood every word.
"Did you understand me?"
And that was that.
In fact, she died a beautiful death soon after our conversation, surrounded by her husband of more than fifty years and her five living children. From the stories told by my aunts and uncles, it was a very spiritual experience.
There is no doubt in my mind that she knows Abel and Lucas. And while her death was not a tragedy, that certainly doesn't make those of us who knew and loved her miss her any less.
Post Script. I have to admit that I wrote this entry several days ago. I don't know why I didn't post it immediately. Now, as I re-read it on Good Friday I know that this weekend is the perfect time for this post.