We had a memorial service for her last March. I had so much to say, but found myself struggling to speak that day. Below is what I wanted to share with those who took the time to celebrate her life with us that day.
When I think of my Gram, I see shades of blue and I feel a warm breeze on my skin and the sun on my face. I hear birds chirping happy songs and her laugh floating on the breeze. We're at the zoo, in the park, strolling through the Arboretum, riding in her Oldsmobile with the windows down. We read books, watched movies, laughed, shopped, and even spent some time in the back of a police car.
I am so grateful for every moment that I was fortunate enough to spend with her. I am grateful for her contributions to who I am today. All those summers of fun made me a reader, a writer, a dreamer, a giggler, a cat snuggler, a photographer, a movie lover, and a strong, confident, independent woman.
She was so grateful. Grateful for our company, what she had, what she learned, her family, her friends, right down to the tiny birds who frequented her cozy backyard. In turn, I am grateful for her lessons in gratitude. I am grateful for my good fortune to have had her as a part of my life, as someone who helped raise me over all those glorious summer vacations before I had to grow up. I am grateful for our weekly phone calls, the cards and letters (she loved a good thank you note and she taught me how to write them), our shared opinions about whether or not children should continue to be taught to write cursive (they should) and her willingness to give her time, love, and friendship to people (or animals) in need.
Her memory was a treasure trove of stories. My only regret is not taking the time to sit down with her and write them all down so that they could live forever. I hope you will share her stories with those that you love so that she will live on through them.