Thursday, March 7, 2013

The One With About My Grandma

My sweet Grandma Smith passed away early Wednesday morning.  She was 94 years old.  Amazing.  We knew this was coming for probably 10 years.  She was such a trooper.  She held on strong until it was her time.  I don't think I ever heard her complain once about how hard it was to hold on for that long.

I'm so glad that I was able to visit her as much as I did.  I knew I would regret it if I didn't, so I would take the girls every chance I got & we were never disappointed.  Every visit she would ask lots of questions about us & our families.  She genuinely cared so much about us, even though, at times, it probably took every ounce of energy she had just to ask us those questions.

We got a text from my dad Tuesday night saying she was in the emergency room, then later said that the doctor said she didn't have much time.  I originally planned on going Wednesday morning, but my mom called me and told me if I want to come, I better come now.  I'm so so glad my mom called me because I wouldn't have gotten there in time.

There were many of us that met Tuesday night.  As sad as we all were, it was a really neat and special experience.  We were able to share memories with each other & say our goodbyes.  While I was driving there, I felt my grandpa (my guardian angel) with me for a short moment, then I remembered something...
(sorry, this is a bit long, but I never want to forget these special memories)

Rewind about a week and a half ago.  I was getting ready one day & I instantly was overcome with the thought & feeling of how happy my grandpa would be to see my grandma when it was time.  It was as if his happiness & bliss was placed directly into my body & it became my happiness.  I didn't know she would pass away so soon, but that experience has helped me so much.

A few days after that experience, I was thinking about how my grandpa was taking really good care of me & my family.  Then, I caught myself thinking that I wanted my grandma to take care of me.  I was surprised by that thought, but I couldn't deny that it was genuine.

Then, Monday night, Rick & I were falling asleep & I mentioned to him that for the past month or so I have been on cloud 9 & felt like my life was perfect.  I also told him that I knew that something hard was coming. I had no idea that it would start the next day.

I got home Tuesday night/Wednesday morning at about 1:15 am, and couldn't go to sleep (which is so not like me).  I surprised myself because although I will miss her so much, I couldn't help but feel extremely grateful for knowing my grandma & having so many memories of her.

The last time I saw my grandma (besides Tuesday night) was on Valentine's Day when we delivered her Valentine.  It was my idea to make Valentines (I try every year), but it was Rick's idea that we hand deliver some.  I don't know why that thought didn't even occur to me, but I am so glad he suggested it!  When we delivered Grandma Smith's Valentine, she was eating.  At first I felt really bad that I interrupted her lunch, but someone pointed out that she was more awake because of it (she's been so sleepy for years).  She was so cute and the happiest I have seen her in a long time.  She shared her food with Paige & was so excited to see us.  I loved seeing her smiling & interacting with Paige so much.  To say that my grandma loved babies & kids, is an understatement.  It was tradition to take my newborn babies to her.  It always seemed like a special experience to do that.
Paige's newborn visit
Lindsey's newborn visit
(she's not sleeping, she's looking at the baby because she loves them so much!)
My grandpa died before I was born, so my grandma hasn't seen him in almost 37 years.  Her face still lit up when she talked about him.  No doubt in my mind she was still madly in love with him & I know they are dancing together now.  I know this sounds weird, but I have noticed that my grandpa hasn't been with me as much as normal, but I know that he's busy being with my grandma right now, as he should be!

When Rick's grandpa passed away, we told him it was his job to help our next child come to us (because my Grandpa Smith helped Paige come to us).  I wanted so badly to ask grandma to do something similar, but something was holding me back, and I just couldn't even ask.  I told my mom & my mom said that my grandma's job was to take care of my other children who haven't come yet.  It was perfect.  So, I did.  I also told her I wanted twins next (I know, I'm crazy), and she made a concerned face right then, even though she was unconscious   She didn't like the sound of that, I guess :)  I also told her that my mom wanted a little red-headed girl but that Rick didn't, so I would leave that up to her.

My grandma loved dancing, babies, the Lawrence Welk Show and visits with the family. She always made everyone feel so loved in a way that I don't think I could ever explain.  To be genuinely loved that much is amazing to say the least.  It makes me want to be extremely loving to everyone.  It makes me sad that most people in this world will never feel a love like that, but also that I am so very grateful for being able to feel it from her.

My cousin worded it perfectly... "my grandma tap danced her way to our Father in Heaven."

I just keep typing hoping that something will scratch the surface of how amazing she was, but I don't feel like I am doing her justice.

She's just... simply amazing.

Love you more, grandma!


Emily H. said...

Just beautiful Michelle! Your Grandma Smith was an amazing person and you are right, she made EVERONE feel like they were loved and truly special. One of my first memories of her was when she found out that I danced as well. She was so excited that we had that in common! (Although she was a little disappointed to find out I wasn't classically trained!) Scott has shared similar sentiments to yours: that he knows his Grandpa Smith is a very big part of his life, even though he hasn't met him. I couldn't help but think about the wonderful reunion that you will all have some day. I feel very priveleged to have known her and to be a small part of her family :) Anyway, just wanted to share all this, hope you don't mind!

Michelle said...

Thank you, emily! I love that scott has felt that too! Andrew (my brother) has mentioned similar feelings to me also. It makes me so happy to hear those stories!