A little while ago, my grandma died.
Typing that out almost three months later still feels so strange to me, because she had lived so long I almost believed she was immortal. Many things have changed in my life over the past few years, but my grandma–sharp as ever, living in Burbank with the orange vinyl kitchen and the pingpong table in the backyard–was a constant.
These are the little things that as a granddaughter I remember: she was an avid Dodgers fan and kept score of every game. She had the best jewelry and always picked out the best clothing gifts for me and my sisters. There was a mega-sized amethyst ring kept in her drawer that I always thought was the epitome of glamour. She taught me how to play cards and was awesome at solitaire. Her house contained a seemingly endless supply of caffeine-free Diet Coke and fascinating magazines, both of which I took full advantage every summer we visited.
My grandma was as feisty as her bright red hair, which she continued to dye even as she reached her 90s. She was generous and sassy and fiercely independent. She loved music and taught piano lessons for years and years at the beautiful black grand piano in her living room. Every Christmas she'd play The March of the Toys as all the grandkids stomped around. She took us to see The Lion King musical and Romeo and Juliet the ballet and Josh Groban (!) at the Hollywood Bowl. When I was in 9th grade, I performed at Disneyland with the ballroom dance team. Grandma drove all the way down there and paid the steep entrance fee to come watch me dance.
Though she won't be physically present anymore, her memory will remain a constant reminder: do good and be involved; keep things feisty.
I love you, Grandma. 'Til we meet again.