The last week has been exhausting.
My Great-Granny went to Heaven on March 17th.
She was 96 years old.
Granny lived and loved with a whole lot of fierceness. She was poised and pretty, always dressed well and wearing lipstick. In fact, one of my favorite memories of growing up and visiting Granny's house was being able to sneak into her bathroom and put on her blush. She always had many different make-up choices. Honestly, up until the day before her death, I don't think there was one day that went by that I didn't see her with her hose and shoes on, up until bed time.
Granny was a determined, strong, vocal woman.
And yet, she was gentle and loving, kind and generous.
Oh how she loved my children!
Mabel is Granny's namesake, meaning they share the same middle name. Thelma & Mabel Audrine. Mabel was born just one day before Granny's birthday, making it even more special. As long as I can remember, if Granny was talking, Mabel was laughing. Their unique bond was so heartwarming to me and even now, even today, I am so thankful to know that one day my Mabel will be able to spend eternity with her Granny.
The days leading up to Granny's passing were difficult. It's always hard knowing that someone you love is going to leave this world. Over the past ten days I looked deeply into my Granny's bright blue eyes and I felt her love me tenderly. I helped her eat, gave her essential meds, and rubbed her head when I could tell she was agitated. She thanked me but even in those last days I know how hard it was for her to accept help. She was independent, competent and capable of every single task in her life up until this final week.
I saw myself in her. And I decided that it was ok.
[this photo was taken just two Christmas' ago. At 94, Granny crocheted all of these cute hats for all of us!]
I have gotten so good and letting life and death be united in my mind and in my spirit. So good, in fact, that it makes me feel heartless at times. It seems that death has found a way to bring me peace; almost as if it's a good thing.
And yet, this week, it was good. It was a good thing.
Granny was ready.
Braden always had a special bond with Granny as well. He took the news of her passing really hard. I made sure to tell him how proud of him I was for always seeing past her age and loving her deeply. He was crazy about her and she the same. I feel so thankful that he got to know his great, great grandma! What a special gift!
As with every death and every birth, life will take on yet another transition. Easters and Christmases that were once filled with the presence of my grey-haired, smart, funny & witty Granny will be much less full. There will be a void, it's certain.
And that makes me so sad.
But beyond that earthly sadness there is such a deep peace. A peace that makes me feel content in walking out this life with grace, dignity and ferocious zeal. I know that in doing so, I will be blessed with long, rich, full days.
I know she sure was.
I'm so thankful for the lasting memories that are so special to my heart. I am so thankful that as an adult I got to hear stories and live out a life that was intricately involved with my great grandma. Most people don't get that kind of time. I am incredibly blessed.
Though the days that come will seem different, though the journey here without those we love seems long; there is hope in the waiting. Hope in the passing of days.
Hope for eternity, an unending time with them once again.
What a life that she led. What an inspiration it was to me.