I do not want this to be a sad post.*
I was thinking about my grandma on my way home tonight. It still doesn't feel real to me. I was there at the hospital. I saw her hooked up to machines and IVs. I listened to the last things I'd ever hear her say, "Thank you for coming. I love you." *Dang. I'm already crying again. I was at the viewing. I said the prayer at the funeral and half sobbed through the song all the grandchildren sang. But it still hasn't sunk in.
I keep believing that I'll go up to my grandpa's house, and she'll be there in the kitchen asking me about dance or my summer plans, and after closely listening she'll say, "Oh honey, that's wonderful. I am so proud of you."
And when you heard her say those words, you knew she meant it. And you wanted to live in such a way that she would always be proud of you.
My grandma was the most compassionate person I know. I can't think of anyone who was better at knowing what people needed and being able to meet those needs. Last month when we went out for lunch for my birthday she was telling me about the homeless lady she'd befriended and how she'd give her food and chapstick and lotion for her weathered hands. She saw people's potential and loved them for who they are.
I miss her. I am her oldest grandchild; she gave me my first bath. I distinctly remember being completely distraught when she left after visiting my family while we were living in Indiana. I remember holding my blanket while crying in my parents' room where my grandparents had stayed and smelling something...peppermint? a certain perfume? because it reminded me of her. Here I am, some 15 years later, still that silly little girl. Grandma had to go back home.
But I will see her again.
And hopefully, when she asks about my life, and I fill her in on years of details of grad school and a wedding and children and whatever else happens to me she can say,
"Honey, I'm so proud of you,"
and that will be enough.