When you think about how much each of us can accomplish on a daily basis, you can just imagine what you could do in 94 years of life. I saw my memere for the last time in this world on Monday evening. I was able to spend time with her, think about her impact on my life, thank her for being who she was and squeeze as much love into her as I possibly could. She left this world on Tuesday afternoon, yet the ripples of her life will continue on for generations. It's an amazing accomplishment if you really stop and breathe it all in. So amazing that we should all strive to create ripples on a daily basis with the main ingredient being LOVE.
Although it has been about nine years since my memere was the same mem I had when I was a child, she still continued to be special and shine her influence on other's lives. I mention her when I speak about my drive to live each day. She became an expert at living in the moment, not due to choice, but to circumstances she was given. It is through her that I genuinely learned how to do the same. It was easy for her to see beauty. She loved walking around the yard to see the flowers, watching the glitter sparkle on a homemade gift hanging from the window, seeing her daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters dressed in pretty clothes, and enjoying meals her sons brought over especially for her.
Memere resided with my parents for the past 9 years and my family and I were blessed to share many visits with her. In her later years she continued to be a strong and funny woman who spoke with pride about her past and with love and affection for her family. She considered herself blessed on a daily basis. "Look at this, isn't this great to have such a family?"
Yes, Mem, it sure is.
Yes, Mem, it sure is.
Some may think it would be a burden to care for an aging parent, but my mother and father saw it as quite the opposite.
My mom would leave for work each day and consistently Memere would compliment her on how nice she looked. Daily, she'd thank her for the good food and again, consider herself lucky to have a family like hers. It's not to say that there weren't some hard days, but there were always blessings shared...and always "I love yous" exchanged each night.
It was my mom's mission to help my memere live out the rest of her life as happily and contently as she could. She achieved just that, even to the very end. Anyone who knows my mom (and dad) knows they are expert givers; others are always the priority. Mom continuously loves with her whole heart and is happiest doing for others. To be a witness to such selfless love with my mem was certainly a gift to me and anyone else who saw it.
The younger memories I have of my grandmother remind me of how clever, creative and smart she was. She could create things without patterns just by looking at them. Things like Christmas Villages, my crocheted wedding bells, knit hats and scarves and an old childhood quilt will help to keep all the memories close to my heart.
I remember making surprise visits on some Saturdays to ask Mem to make crepes. I remember the handmade raspberry jam we rolled in the middle and the watered down orange juice we were served. I remember how my grandfather would help with serving us and I especially remember how it felt so special to be a part of their day.
Hopefully I'll be able to get the recipe mastered and even be able to make crepes or pies for my own children one of these days, but I'm not sure they'll be as good as I remember them.
Saying Goodbye is not easy, especially when you have a memere who's been part of your life for 44 years.
Mem, I will miss an infinite number of things about you.
I will miss hearing the pride in your voice as you talk about your parents and 10 brothers and sisters.
I will miss hearing about about how lucky you are to have such a "close family".
I will miss your spunk and sense of humor.
I will miss your compliments.
I will miss watching you find simple joy in each day.
I will miss taking selfies with you.
I will miss my children getting to grow up beside you(but feel so blessed to have had you this long).
I will miss kissing your cheek and telling you I love you.
I will miss YOU.xo
Rest in Peace Sweet Memere, I love you to the moon and back.
And by the way, I hope I have inherited some of your kick ass strength. I've never met a stronger 94 year old.