My Grandmom was an awesome lady. She was strong and independent, she was elegant, she was stylish, she was a good cook in the day, and most importantly, she was a fabulous mother and grandmother. I was lucky that I got to have her around locally growing up, and I got to see her a lot. Countless holiday and Sunday dinners, family events, you name it she was always there with us.
I've seen a picture of her as a little girl, riding a horse. I've seen a picture of her on the beach in a bathing suit holding my toddler Dad's hand in which she looks like she could have been a pinup model. In my parents' wedding album (circa 1969) she looked beyond fabulous and fashionable in a lavender minidress with a pillbox hat and gloves. We have years and decades of pictures of all of us at the family dinner table, and although I got older and everyone gradually looked a little different, she hardly seemed to age until about the last 10 years or so.
Her earlier life certainly wasn't easy. She was a military wife, raising two kids while my Grandpop fought in WWII, Vietnam, and Korea. Later, they divorced, and she found herself alone and having to stand on her own two feet. Happily, years later they reconciled, although I don't think she ever completely forgave him for leaving her, but it was good they were able to spend his later years reconnected. She had two kids, my Dad and my Aunt, and I was her only grandchild. And she even stuck around long enough to get to know my 5 year old son, her great-grandson, which I am grateful for. My other Grammy made it just long enough to meet my husband and be at our wedding, but my Grandpop died shortly after college and my Mom's Dad died when I was like one or two at most. So it was good to hang on to one last grandparent for a lot longer.
My favorite memories of her include a period of time in which my parents were in a bowling league on Tuesday nights and they dropped me off at her apartment for a couple of hours. She would cook me dinner, which we ate at her cozy little kitchen table, and we somehow decided we had a mutual interest in the show Mash, which became a beloved bonding time for us.
Today a small gathering of her family and friends of the family joined to remember her, and I learned some wonderful new tidbits about her, as well as sharing fond memories and pictures of her. It was just right for her small, soft spoken, and very loving family, and I know she felt all the warm feelings we sent her way. Grandmom, you will be missed.