Yesterday marked the fourth anniversary of Grandma V’s passing.
I can say honestly that I’ve been dealing a bit better with it. But yesterday I was angry. I was just so pissed off all day. I didn’t cry, I just tried to ignore the world and snapped at anyone who tried to talk to me. I resented everything, hated everything.
Then today I woke up and couldn’t stop crying. Probably not my best idea to write this at my desk, but I need to. I miss her. It’s not fair that she had to live out her remaining years in a nursing home, without her favorite chair or her dog, Penny. It’s not fair that she was sick and confined to a wheelchair for so long.
It’s not fair that I didn’t give up more of my time to visit with her. A few hours on Saturdays? What the fuck was I thinking? She meant so much more than that to me, and I took her for granted. Now I regret that every single day.
If I go visit her now, I’m visiting a piece of stone that looks identical to the thousands of pieces of stone around it, just with her name on it. No indication of the vivacious women it honors. No sign of the life she lived and the joy she brought every single person who met her. Not an ounce of the warmth she emanated and shared. Just stark stone, engraved with stark text that poorly communicates how truly beloved she will always be.
You don’t look at that stone and see the beautiful cross stitching she loved to do while her eyes allowed her to. You don’t see the attitude and sass she’d give you if you smarted off. You don’t see the spark in her eye that was there until she fell asleep for the last time.
It’s an underwhelming piece of rock, that headstone. It disappoints. It’s infuriating. I hate that stone and everything it fails to represent.
But I love her.
I am lucky for the years I had with her. I am lucky for the days at her house, running around with fly swatters and wearing dish towels as capes, pretending to be She-Ra with my sister. I am lucky for what I thought were boring times that I now cherish, watching Antiques Roadshow or Bob Ross on PBS as she cross stitched in her favorite chair.
I am lucky for the nicknames she gave us, Pumpkin and Munchkin. I am lucky for the times she made hilariously inappropriate comments too loudly in public, and for the times she tormented my sister by yelling date offers out the car window as my sister drove past the cart boys at Target. I am lucky for all of the beautiful memories and happy times I shared with her and my family.
I am sad. I will always be sad. Some days will be worse than others. But I will forever be grateful that I was lucky enough to have her as my grandma, and that I’m lucky enough to be able to take solace in the wonderful family she left behind.
Love you, Grandma. Give ‘em hell.