One year ago yesterday my Grandmother died.  Her funeral was in May and this is what I spoke of in tribute to her.  I miss her still – and I am not the only one.

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My memories are steeped in wonderful….

Occasionally in my life I have experienced a crossroads where divine inspiration meets coincidence.  A friend of mine coined these as “Godcidences”.  It has been my experience that they are only understood when seen in reverse and only then does it become clear that something divine has intervened.  Such was the set of circumstances a year ago in June that set in motion a chain of events unparalleled in my life.  It was then, under the pretense of need that I set to arranging a visit to my Grandmother.  The greatest surprise was to find that I needed her more than she needed me.  The light from this experience will be a beacon for me in all my years to come.

When I was 13 I spent a week during the summer with my Mimi and Bumpy.  It was 1971 and unusual for girls of my age to travel unaccompanied.   It was my first brush with independence and the feeling that I could do anything, be anything.  It influenced all the choices that came after and was a defining experience in making me the woman I became.

My grandparents were deeply in love. My mother has often commented that their love came before everything and everybody else.  I was struck by how they cared for each other and in those summer days realized the power of finding the love of your life.  I didn’t do so on my first outing, but in knowing what real looked like, I continued my search and am blessed to have spent 22 years with my husband.

I also learned in that week what made my mother extraordinary but that too became clearer in retrospect and is a story for another time.

Mimi was a force.   She had a strength of conviction that was uncompromising in its certainty.  I believe I got that from her.  It has been my blessing and my burden – as I believe it was hers.

She had purpose.  At 98 she read the paper cover to cover each day and was on top of all news; particularly the local news.  She was religious about watching her golf matches and went about her days following structure and routine.  Until just before she died, she still made her grocery list, planned her meals, kept her home.  She loved her home.

She was independent.  I have such respect for the manner in which she chose to live her life on her own terms – including where and how she would die.

If the true measure of a person’s life is the imprint they leave on others than she led an extraordinary life.  In her last year, her 98th year, she reconnected me with my center when I had lost my way.  It was a gift I didn’t expect and I am so blessed to have had her as my Mimi.