|Grandma's Self Portrait|
It's been almost a year since I saw her. I wanted her to meet Rory, and was glad she was able to last year when he was 5 months old. It was really beautiful. He reached out and touched her hand, like he knew her. I'm glad they had that moment, and am sad they couldn't have had more. There is part of me that felt like his magic and life could somehow cure her Parkinson's and everything else that ailed her.
Before that, the last time I talked to her was before I was pregnant with Rory. I called her from Hawaii, after doing my half Ironman. We had a really good talk. I can't remember everything she said, only that she told me about an artist she was interested in.
She was a remarkable person, probably in more ways than I know. She was an athlete, an artist, a college graduate, and a business woman. Not all that many 92 year old women could say they were all of those things.
I wish I could have known her better as an adult. I moved hundreds of miles away after college and never returned. My love for her is that of a child for her grandmother, not of a best friend or her confidante or peer. She fed me, held me, took me to exciting places, helped me with my bandaids, watched over me so I would be safe.
One of my first childhood memories of her was when I was probably around 4 or 5. We were out to dinner at "The Smoke House" in Los Angeles with our extended family. They are famous for their prime rib, which everyone else at the table ordered but me. I wanted steak. I loved steak, and my family never had it for dinner. I was given a hard time by a lot of people at the table about passing up the famous prime rib, but my grandmother sat next to me and cut my steak up for me. I felt grateful that she helped me when a few others at the table kept making fun of me.
I loved her also because I felt like I was part of her in some ways. I wanted to be an artist like her. I inherited her absentmindedness and her love for food. She had fine taste, and I wanted to be like her in that way, too.
I'm not grieving heavily about her loss. Maybe grief will hit me will at the funeral. I had a horrendous day yesterday, and I felt guilty that inconveniences like a sick child, fatigue from a long weekend, a car breaking down, ants in the kitchen, waking up at 4 am, a sore throat, Rory climbing out of his playpen for the first time, and a painful 18 mile run somehow overshadowed the loss of someone who has had such a role in making me who I am. I guess life goes on, and caring for the next generation's immediate needs makes it hard to deal emotionally with anything but the here and now.
It has been heartbreaking seeing her get older, sleep more, get thinner, and become less aware of what is around her. I'm glad that she has moved on to a better place. I'd been depressed the week prior to her passing, knowing what was to come, and now I think I actually feel lighter knowing she isn't suffering.