Two years ago this month I lost my grandmother. We called her MomMom. And not just her family called her that. Anyone that came into her house gained a grandmother and was granted the privilege to call her by her title. And that came with a killer plate of pancakes more than likely.
In one of the most transformative experiences of my life I got to stand by her bedside in the ICU on her last day and was there when she breathed her last. Every July since, I think about that day. I think about how surprisingly quick the transition is between being alive, and then being gone. I think about holding her hand and for the first time in my life, she wasn’t holding it back. I think about balling like a baby in the hospital cafeteria to the point where the cashier just gave me the coffee for free.
But I don’t want to think of those things when I think of my MomMom, Rose. I want to think about her living, breathing time on this earth and the impact it had on me. I want to think of things like these.
That there was never a time I walked into her home and she didn’t light up with delight in seeing me. It didn’t matter how old I was, what I looked like, or what time of day it was. I walked in that front door and I would hear my name said so loudly that I couldn’t help but smile. I felt loved by her for no other reason except that I was her granddaughter. May my children and grandchildren always say the same of me.
That she is the reason for my life long love affair with coffee. At 5 or 6 years old she would fix me a cup of coffee that was more sugar and cream than anything else. I felt fancy and grown- and there is nothing else in the world a little girl wants more than to feel fancy and grown. Later when I learned it was decaf, I’m not going to lie, it hurt my feelings. But to this day when I pick up a mug of coffee I think of her. Especially if its a random mug with a cat or a butterfly on it. Someday I plan on sneaking my grandchildren sips of coffee and irritating the crap out of my future daughters or sons in law.
That she knew I liked the crispy edges of her mac and cheese- so she always burnt the top a bit.
That she sang and played the piano at church. I don’t think anyone would ever say her voice was angelic, but she would sing out to the rafters of that little church. And inspired everyone else to sing along.
That she was my pen pal. We wrote actual letters to each other. And she always numbered the pages, even if there were only two.
That she had a heart for Jesus. Her life was hard- for different reasons at different times in her life. (Heck she had 7 children!) But every letter she wrote to me contained this sentiment- God will provide. God is good. One way or another, she leaned on her savior in the good and the bad times.
That she loved my son and would have adored my daughter. It breaks my heart she never got to meet her. I like to think that she can see her and probably thinks it’s funny how much trouble she is giving me. She must know that she lives on in the memories of her well-loved family and in the little Rose I am now raising.