My grandma died this morning, about a month before her 95th birthday. Her quality of life wasn't the greatest the last few years, after a few strokes she pretty much just staid in her bed which was quite a change for her.
I remember being with her while I was waiting for my sister to be born. Every time I'd hear a siren I'd ask if that was my mom and my new sister. I remember her spoiling me, whether giving me a mountain of gifts for Christmas and my birthday, feeding me full to the bursting point, or secretly sending me checks when I was a grown-up.
She was the best cook I have ever known, years of working as a school cafeteria manager probably helped that. She was always proud of me, even when I wasn't proud of myself, and genuinely, unconditionally loved me and my sister.
The call this morning wasn't too much of a surprise, the last time I visited her she temporarily lost her hearing, so I had to write everything down for her. I was upset leaving the nursing home and the director stopped me and tried to cheer me up. I guess it helped a little.
I'm trying not to remember her that way. I'd rather remember her cooking egg sandwiches before a day of fishing, or cooking up hamburgers for a stray dog her and my grandfather sort of adopted, or walking by me patiently as I learned to ride a bike.
I hadn't actually spoken to her in a long time. She didn't have a phone in her room, and she was asleep most of the time anyway. Although we didn't talk much (even when she wasn't in the hospital, she didn't talk much), I thought about her all the time, and she is already leaving a large hole in my soul.