The true realization of a loss. It’s been quite a few days since it happened but I’m still struggling with it. She was so incredibly precious to me and the fact she’s really gone is still as daunting today as when I received the sad news. I kept it together for my mom, but then again, I also “kept it together” when I lost my dad at age fifteen and that took years to subside.
My grandma had a personality that seemed larger than life. She had an unmatched strength of character and would always put others first. She was always reminding me of her sadness for not being able to read or write but her knowledge always seemed infinite to me. Together with her beloved husband she was able to successfully raise her eight children (and dozens of grandchildren).
She leaves me with many memories but I remember this particular weekend more than 23 years ago when I was staying over at her place. It was late at night and she was ironing clothes in her small kitchen while I observed the careful back and forth. The kitchen windows were open behind her and the curtains were waving in slow motion creating that hypnotic movement that only summer breezes can replicate. I was so curious about her ironing process that I ended up asking if she could teach me how to do it.
After much insistence she ended up explaining how it worked and I was given a try with a small piece of cloth. Everything was going well until I inadvertently touched the scalding surface (she warned me many times but I guess I had to learn on my own what hot really means). It was a tiny little spot but boy, oh boy… was it painful…
She took care of me while telling me it was not my fault and that she shouldn’t have allowed me to hold the iron. Despite the burn I was happy with the opportunity she had given me. I kept telling her it was not her fault and that I was happy she had given me the chance to try. It was the first time someone allowed me to have a go at a risky task only adults were expected to do.
We used to have long conversations running late into the night. Hours of stories and discussions about the values of hard work and living a honorable life. She was more than my grandma, she was a close friend and someone that helped shaping me.
Now she’s gone and I will miss her so very much. I will miss her traditional sayings, her stories, her fast paced kisses on my cheeks. I will miss her delicious food and hilarious jokes over dinner (some were quite naughty).
I will miss her terribly but at the same time I will always remember and cherish the memories of my time with her.