This past week my dearest Grandma passed away. She was 92 and spirited as ever. My Grandma played a huge role in my life and was always present. She showed up to all my sports events, we celebrated every Holiday with her (minus two Thanksgiving Holidays), and seen each other through the highs and lows. She was an incredible woman who endured many hardships but always wore a brave face. She was told she should never have kids due to her heart (she had five). She was strong and silent.
I have so many memories of my Grandma. She had the most beautiful touch on things. She always lived close to us growing up. I would go over to her house often. Her bathrooms were always my favorite, decorated in light pink and everything was elegant. She always had candy in her purse. She was an animal lover. We would always listen to Frank Sinatra, Andrea Bocelli, or Tom Jones on road trips together. I loved her baked cinnamon apples. When I was in High School my mother had to work graveyard shifts and I would wake up in the night and walk over to my Grandma’s, knocking ever so softly and she would always wake up and let me crawl into her bed with her no matter what time I came in the night.
When I went off to college my Grandma and I would write letters back and forth. I am so happy I saved her cards and letters. I love looking at her handwriting. During my second year of college, I was on a recruiting trip to play basketball at the University of Northwestern in Chicago with my best friend. We had just landed and met the basketball coaches that we going to host us for the weekend. I checked my cell phone and had several missed messages. I instantly felt something was wrong. I listened to the first message and began crying. I was informed my Grandma had a major stroke and they were uncertain of her condition. I knew I had to get back home immediately. I was at Northwestern for only a few short hours, but it felt like a lifetime. I booked the next flight out and traveled home to be with my Grandma. I honestly, had no idea what to expect but was frightened to think of my Grandma in any pain or affected by the stroke. After the stroke, it felt like a piece of my Grandma died. She was a different person. Her independent lifestyle was no longer an option for her. Once we knew that my Grandma would never live alone again (which she did for many years because her husband passed of cancer) my mother stated she would care for her. And that’s exactly what my mother did. She took care of my Grandma for seventeen years. She dedicated herself and made sacrifices in all areas of her life. My Grandma would not have lived as long as she did without my mother’s loving devotion to her. I am so thankful for these strong women that have influenced me in so many ways.
I have so many wonderful memories of my Grandma that I will cherish. I will miss you everyday. I will hold you in my heart forever until we meet again, XO!