this morning felt very strange because i did not make my weekly 9 a.m. phone call to grandma. see, a good 8-10 years ago now, i made it my new year’s resolution to phone g’ma every week. in recent years, our chatting time had evolved to sunday a.m. – a convenient time for us both. our phone visits were not lengthy, and esp in the last few months, our topics of q & a were repetitive, but it was nice to touch base with grandma on a regular basis. our pattern was so established that some weeks, grandma would pick up the phone and immediately say, “hello cathy!” -> whenever she answered in this way, it made me laugh which in turn made HER laugh and got our visit off to a cheery start.
on wednesday of this past week, g’ma completed her daily walk to and from the uptown mall with her best friend. thursday morning, g’ma was taken to the hospital, and it was discovered that the situation was terminal. the care team gave grandma no more than a day or two to live. i cannot BELIEVE how things work out (as i have often said before) – on thursday, i was scheduled to work only until 3 pm. i am RARELY done my work day this early! as such, i was able to go to the hospital late thursday aft, spend time with grandma, and say my good-bye. grandma passed away late yesterday afternoon. [i have to smile because grandma could be quite stubborn at times (dad and i share this trait, too) and the fact that she lived more than 24 hours than expected was her way of being stubborn right to the very end].
i am so so happy that dad and i took grandma to her favourite swiss chalet back in august and enjoyed our lunch outing with her, there.
and remember the lovely family luncheon we shared in may to celebrate g’ma’s 90th? the smile never left grandma’s face that day.
one other blog post featuring g’ma comes to mind: this one where i showed you some of grandma’s needlework creations in her apartment, around the time of her 89th birthday.
grandma was knitting right until the very end. this is a snippet of the last blanket that she made, finished just last week:
here are a couple of grandma-anecdotes:
~ brown was grandma’s favourite colour. when we were children, i remember the brother and i being practically aghast – and fascinated! – that anyone would pick BROWN for their favourite colour!
~ g’ma sewed entire wardrobes for me when i was a little girl:
here’s another example of grandma’s sewing talent: as a teen, i gave her a drawing of an outfit i wanted, and she replicated it even better than i had anticipated! (and you know it is hard to please a picky teen!). i wore that skirt + blouse combo for years.
~ grandma never judged and was pretty unflappable, no matter what news i shared with her.
~ grandma loved florida! i definitely inherited my love of florida + heat + sunshine from her!
~ grandma balanced a diet heavy on fried foods with a ton of walking!
~ a strong faith, a commitment to family, and not shying away from hard work saw grandma through some years of great hardship; i am glad she also experienced years of travel, relaxation, and enjoyment of life.
we are planning on having a service of remembrance and celebration of life on thursday. it will be a day to mourn, but also to be thankful for all the years that grandma was with us.