Grandmama’s Waltz Click to hear SONG
She was 87. I am so grateful to have been so close to her. Therein lies the story, her story, our story.
As a fine artist and art teacher she raised my dad as a single parent long before it was “popular.” She had a hard life and wore it on her sleeve. I grew up knowing her to be very judgmental, unforgiving and hyper critical. As much as she loved life and appreciated the beauty of everything around her, she seemed to dislike people in general. When she did hug me, it was cold and prickly. She didn’t understand me at all as I grew into a young woman and held a grudge as if it were a trophy.
All of that changed when I moved to Sarasota, Florida at 20 years old. She was my ONLY grandparent and I wanted a relationship with her. A GOOD relationship. I decided consciously that I was going to “make that bitch love me!” She lived in Clearwater, an hour away from Sarasota. So every other weekend I visited her and basically pushed my way into her heart. I loved her into softness. I shared “hug therapy” with her. within the year she did soften. She did open! She learned how to hug without pushing me away at the same time! In fact, before I moved back up north 2 years later, she had made me 2 sets of stained glass hugging bears from the little book called “Hug Therapy.” I treasure then today!
In 1994 she was ready to come up north to be with family. She knew she was slipping and was willing to be cared for. God Bless her! I flew down to drive her and her belongings to Indiana. We left on her 85th birthday. The timing of taking her away from the home she’d known for the last 30 years on her birthday really sucked! The trip north was an adventure to blog later. But for the next 2 years we were both in South Bend so I got to see her often! I video taped some of her stories. We grew even closer.
The last week of February I was on my way to Florida on tour. The day before I left she had fallen again. She was put into the hospital a block away from my home. I went to see her for the last time on this earth plane…I knew. I rubbed her feet. I brushed her hair. I told her goodbye. Later that day the doctors discovered an inoperable brain tumor. That’s why she was falling. That’s why she was fully cognizant one minute and out of it the next. She knew she was in and out and it pissed her off! She always had her wits about her…until now. She would have to go into a home and move out of independent living and she NEVER wanted to do that.
I drove to Florida, stayed at her old condo and all of that week, long distance, I gave her permission to go to God. “it’s ok Grandmama. You can let go. I’ll miss you but I’ll be ok. It’s your choice. I love you so much.” All week long. On March 1st I got the call. “Thank you GOD!” was my first response.
That night she come to me in my dreams and thanked me for her room! I didn’t understand. She said “Just look at this place!” Out of the mists formed this palatial estate! “Why thank me?” I asked.
“You taught me how to love! I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you! You changed my Karma!” WOW!
Just by loving her…WOW! So today I celebrate her life here on earth AND her life on the otherside. The veil is so thin that we are still close. She is with me everyday.
In Florida, she had a calamondin tree behind her condo. She made marmalade out of that sour stuff that not many enjoyed like I did. Last night a gal brought me a bag of calamondins and some jams she had made along with a sprig of flowers from her tree. OMG! Grandmama IS here! I will enjoy the fruit for at least a week and the marmalade all year. Grandmama you rock! Even from the other side she still loves me! I am so blessed!