Momma Told Me: A Reminder of Life and Love To Honor an Amazing Woman

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Friday, May 11, 2012

A Reminder of Life and Love To Honor an Amazing Woman



I love to blog about everything, from recipes and opinions, to simply sharing stories of my childhood; and I know all of my readers love to read the witty and colorful accounts. However, there has been something I have been working up the courage to write about for a while now; loss.

I suppose I should start by explaining that I was raised feeling as though I should take pride in my independence and always keep my chin up. Showing emotions simply isn't something I often feel comfortable doing. Sure, I can write paragraphs about purses and league bowling, or my adorable ball of fluff, Truffles. But feeling like a failure, or scared about the future, or simply sad about missing someone- it's just not the way my Momma raised me. Don't get me wrong, my Momma's one tough cookie, but I have never for a second doubted her love. We're just not the sort who would end every conversation with 'I love you', or a bear hug. In a very real sense, I have molded myself to believe the further I distance myself from people, the less it will hurt when they are no longer there.

I am writing to say; it is not true.

I love those in my life no less, yet the distance I tend to create only serves to rob me of the undetermined amount of time that I have; the time that I will never get back.

At 25, I have ALWAYS considered myself a very lucky individual; something I have said time and again. Though my parents remain divorced, both pairs of my grandparents were alive and in my life. Believe me, this is not something I took for granted. I know how rare this is. In fact, with the exception of distant (to me) great aunt's, I have never had to face a familial loss. Something I dared not try to comprehend while holding countless friends in their times of sorrow.

When my grandmother passed, this past month, it was hard to digest. Outwardly, I felt as though I had to appear strong- it's what people would expect from me. At the same time, many forms of distance had kept me one of her furthest grandchildren- how could I dare grieve the way those so close to her were? I felt almost guilty over such sorrow, when there was her husband (of over 50 years) and her daughter (who lived across the street), left behind?

The simple truth remains; outside of my mother's relationship- or ANYONE's relationship with her- I hold my own memories, and those are none less as powerful. They may not be as plenty as those who has the privilege and blessings to cultivate more, but mine are just as vivid and real in my heart. She was my Oma too, and my memories are of a loving woman, with a house full of loved animals, and a heart for giving. I know I did not always make decisions of her approval, as children of any kind rarely do- that's how we learn, but I also knew I was always loved. You can ask for little more from your family, than to take you as you are, and I am infinitely grateful for that. I could go on- about how many people came out to say goodbye to this woman, they all so clearly loved; touched by someone who was once a stranger, but so quickly became a treasured friend. I could tell you how she loved to sing along to The King (Elvis), or the rooms in her home covered in Winnie The Pooh- or how many animals I watched her take in and nurse, when they had no homes. I could write for days of memories, of which I am certain there are not enough.

But I am a firm believer that we are all operating on borrowed time- and just because you are no longer here, grandma, I am sure your impact will be felt for many lifetimes. How I can contribute, how I can honor you- there are so many ways. But, for today, I will start with a simple reminder.

Hug the ones you love.

Call your mom. Call your dad. Call that best friend you had in high school, that you always seem to lose touch with.

Love everyone you can, and especially those who love you.

Live every day, thankful, yet never afraid- every breath is a gift. Every moment an opportunity.

Take a moment today, in honor of an amazing woman, and cherish those you hold close.

The book of life is brief
And once the page is read
All but love is dead

This is my belief

And yes, I know how lonely life can be
The shadows follow me and the night won't set me free

But I don't let the evening get me down

Now that you're around me

"And I Love You So" Elvis Presley, Don McLean

11 comments:

  1. Really nice post to read, commiserations about your Gran, hugs to you and your family.

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  2. Thank you for the comment. She was a great lady,she loved you very much, and missed your being near as you grew up. she is still watching us .Love you gramps

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  3. We all love and grieve in different ways. Sorry about your Grandmother.

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  4. I am so sorry about your grandma. I loved mine dearly too so I know the void you must be feeling. She's smiling on you for the wonderful tribute you paid her! Cyberhugs to you Jenna!

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  5. A very nice tribute! I lost my grandma a few years ago, but I still really cherish the memories of our times together.

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  6. Your post brought me to tears and made me think of my own grandmother. She passed away when I was 12 and I still think of her almost every day. I carry her in my heart much the way you do with yours. I'v felt as you have before that I didn't have the right to grieve and I've learned through others that we all have the right to grieve. The human heart cannot be restricted in what it feels and it's so much healthier for us when we allow ourselves to grieve. Thank you for sharing about your grandmother and sending virtual hugs.

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  7. I'm sorry for your loss. I was close to my grandma as well and know this can be a difficult time.

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  8. I am very so sorry for you loss. This is a really great post - memories will always be with you

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  9. To love and be loved in this life are the greatest treasure of all. Your Gran was a very lucky woman to have had that, and the love surely shows in your post.

    I am so sorry for your loss...she sounded like someone who would be nice to know.

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  10. Loved this post. So sorry for your loss, but the wonderful memories you have will keep her alive in your heart forever.

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  11. Nice Post. Glad I found your blog

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