Aug 3, 2012 friends and family
If she were still alive, today would have been my gramma’s 87th birthday.
I just found this photo of her on a disc this week. It was taken about a year before she passed. I had treated her to a haircut and coloring, and she was so happy with the results.
I really like that as I grow older, I can see a lot of her in my face. I have my mom’s eyes and mouth, but the overall face is gramma.
I still miss you so much gramma. Thank you for protecting me from Heaven.
A little over seven years ago, I lost my mom to pancreatic cancer. But had she won her battle with that horrible disease, she would’ve been sixty years old today.
I’m not sure how my mom would’ve taken it. I mean, she never showed that age was more than a number to her. At least that’s how she raised me. But I do know when she hit fifty, she wasn’t exactlly pleased with the number.
I don’t know if that was because it reflected on how long she had been on earth; how people have a preconceived notion of what you should be doing at a certain age; or how much less time she had to complete all the things she wanted to do with her life.
I’d like to think she’d have conquered some more things off her bucket list. Maybe she’d have taken that trip to India – one which I still hope to take for her, with her ashes in tow.
Maybe she would’ve rediscovered her inner artist and be selling her artwork again.
Maybe she’d be living in her van on some beach somewhere, enjoying a laid back lifestyle. She always loved the ocean.
I’d like to think she’d still be dancing to the beat of her own drum, something she always encouraged me to do for myself.
Unfortunately that was often a catalyst for our huge arguments, but it also led me to following a lot of paths in my life that conventional inside the box thinking would’ve had me passing by.
But the truth of the matter is unfortunately, she was taken from us before we could find out.
However, it doesn’t stop me from missing her. And it doesn’t stop me from wondering.
So Happy 60th Birthday, mom! I’m tipping one in your honor today.
Almost three weeks ago, on May 4, I had intended to do my annual post of rememberence for my mother who passed away in 2005. Unfortunately, I ended up spending the days in complete sadness and tears for another reason.
After suddenly becoming ill the night before, my little furry child, Leeshka, passed away in my arms.
I know there are some people who think that dogs are just pets, but to me, she was the closest I’ll ever have to a child. She was a member of the family and very much loved by both myself and Rhonda. And while I know she was getting up there in age, her death happened so suddenly that even almost three weeks later, I still have problems processing that she’s gone.
Leeshka was a pound puppy. My mom said she saw her in the newspaper, in the weekly section where they posted a photo of a pet who needed to be adopted ASAP. My mom said she just knew from the photo that she had to adopt Leeska.
Leeshka was a loving companion until my mom passed away. Then she lived with my gramma until she passed away in 2007. And then she came to live with me.
How such a little baby could have so much love inside her, I’ll never know. But she was just a furry little ball of love. So full of kisses and snuggles. She even somehow knew when I was having a rough day because of my MS and would just lie there, every inch of her pressed up against me, letting me know she loved me.
I don’t know exactly how old she was, but she was getting up there in doggy years. Somewhere in her mid-teens. But I still thought we had a few more years before old age caught up to her. Alas it wasn’t meant to be. I was holding her when she suddenly seized up twice and then breathed out her last breath.
I think what has hit me is not only losing her, but being reminded one more time of my own mortality and failing health. In the last seven years, I’ve gone through so much death of loved ones that were close to me and I’ve personally been so sick lately that sometimes I wonder why I keep fighting. I mean, I’m not suicidal, but it seems like the harder I try to do the right thing, the worse things get. But all that anxiety and doubt will need to be addressed at a later post.
Right now, I will close this by saying how much I miss both my Leeshka and my mom. I hope that Leeshka knew how much she was loved while she was alive and there will never be another that will take her place in my heart. Rhonda and I have already talked and we’ve both decided that we don’t want to replace her.
I don’t think any other fur-child could.
It was four years ago at 11pm when I got the phone call you were gone. I hadn’t meant to be gone so long from your side, but after feeding the dog, I accidentally fell asleep. I somehow knew before I answered that call that I had lost my last chance to be with you and you were gone.
Dear Gramma, it’s been four years and I have a confession to make: I lied that last day we were together. I lied to you when I said that if you were ready to go be with mother in heaven it would be ok. But I knew I had to lie or you’d keep trying to hang in there, suffering in pain.
So I asked three times if you were ready to go be with mother. Each time when you said yes, it tore at my heart but I knew it was time to let you go. I really wanted to be selfish, but I couldn’t see you suffer in pain just to ease mine.
Dear Gramma, I’m sorry. I know Christmas was always your favorite holiday, but I no longer celebrate it. Losing you two days before just stripped everything that was good about the day for me. I remember the dinners we would cook together, especially when mom was still alive. There would always be so much food, we’d have leftovers all week.
Aug 3, 2011 friends and family
In your life, there are certain people who influence you. I’m lucky that two of my biggest influences were my mom and my gramma. They were both very strong and independent women and they raised me to be the same.
Today would have been my gramma’s 86th birthday and even though I lost her at Christmas in 2007, I still feel her presence and her influence in me every day.
Sometimes I think maybe I never told her I loved her as much as I should have, but that’s just because I have so much love for her I thought she could just see it in my eyes and feel it from my heart.
Gramma, wherever in the heavens you are, I just want to tell you again that I love you and I miss you being on earth with me.
Happy birthday gramma!
This weekend, Rhon was going through some boxes in the outside closet and ran across some of my old clothes. And by old, I mean stuff I wore in the 80s. It was one of those boxes where everything in it was just so tied to memories that I couldn’t bear to part with it.
One of the highlights of the box was my denim jacket from the late 80s. Back then, the look was ripped up, acid wash denim jacket with matching jeans. Well, the floodgate of memories just came rushing back as I gazed upon the jacket and the strongest one was of my gramma.
See, when I first got it, I loved wearing that jacket so much that it began to develop rips and frayed edges. No biggie to me – I just kept wearing it. But my gramma took one look at it and was horrified.
“No lady ever wears ripped clothing,” she said to me.
Well, one morning when I was sleeping late at her house, she snuck into my room and took the jacket. I woke up to find that she had patched up the jacket by covering all the rips in a flowered fabric. The fabric ran across the front of the jacket, the underside of the collar, across the back shoulder area, and along the cuffs on both arms.
Now it was my turn to be horrified. How was I gonna hang out in the hard rock bars in a jacket with flowers on it…pastel flowers, nonetheless?
But wanting to make gramma happy – after all, I knew she just did it out of love – I decided to hell with it. I never was a huge fashion plate anyways. So I wore the jacket, and to my surprise, it was a huge hit. I wore it to the clubs. I wore it to all the hard rock/metal shows I covered as a writer.
I wore it so much, that on the rare nights I didn’t wear it, people would ask me where the jacket was. It became a part of my identity for most of the late 80s and early 90s. And every time I wore it, it made me think of gramma.
I kept wearing it until it basically just fell apart. You can’t tell in the photo, but all of the button holes are frayed to the point of not even being there. All of the pockets have huge holes in them and every hem is torn apart.
I kept the jacket though, and seeing it again after almost five years…I just felt like it was full of my gramma’s love for me. So I carefully folded it and put it back it the box after taking the photo. This is one item of my past I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get rid of.
Momma sewed the rags together
Sewin every piece with love
She made my coat of many colors
That I was so proud of
As she sewed, she told a story
From the bible, she had read
About a coat of many colors
Joseph wore and then she said
Perhaps this coat will bring you
Good luck and happiness
And I just couldnt wait to wear it
And momma blessed it with a kiss.
- “Coat of Many Colors”/Dolly Parton