My Grandma

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.

47 thoughts on “My Grandma

      • No worries. I know how it feels to lose a grandparent who means so much! It will be hard but always know that they loved you and they want you to move on with your life with time and be happy! But just don’t forget them and keep her in your heart 🙂 /Nad

    • Thank you Paul. I guess life has its own way of showing us that every minute is precious and how important it is to spend time with our loved while we can. Have a great Sunday!

      • Oh, isn’t this true. I wish I had more time with my dad before he passed. I guess, we just have to make the most of our time with our loved one while they are still here.

      • Amanda, I bet he’s quite proud of you. No matter how much time we enjoyed with them, it always ends up feeling like it wasn’t enough, like more could’ve been done. I say I have 5 little stars looking down on me, guiding me through life (the people I’ve lost that were very close to me). I carry their memories and teachings so it’s like they never really left. Still hard to remember we can’t enjoy their physical presence anymore.

      • Thank you, I like to think he is proud of me 🙂

        That’s a nice way of thinking about it. I will pass on my dad’s memories and teachings to my children, and hopefully on to their children too!

  1. It’s been 20 years, and I still miss my grandmother every single day. It gets easier, but never easy, if that makes sense. They really do stay with us, though. I swear sometimes I can HEAR her eyes rolling at me. 🙂

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss. What a nice tribute to your grandmother. You are so fortunate to have had the time you did with her. What wonderful memories. She’s still with you — her spirit and her love with always be with you.

  3. I too had a very dear relationship with my grandmother, it is such a special love that they give–I’m sorry for your loss. Your photographs are beautiful, as is your writing. I look forward to following your blog! Warm regards, Vivian

    • Thank you so much Vivian. Really happy you like my posts 🙂 You are completely right. Grandparents are so very special. In my younger years I’d be able to protest and go against what mom and dad would say but would always listen to grandma.

  4. What a sacred and special relationship. I’m very sorry for your loss, hope you continue to share those beautiful stories. 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Emy. It took me a bit of time to be able to articulate my thoughts into words. Thank you for stopping by my blog and taking the time to read and comment 🙂

  5. I am at grandma age myself, still awaiting grandchildren, but confident that they will arrive when my children are ready.
    Although my Nana is long gone, I still have the very special memories of her, and they still bring a smile to my face everytime I remember them.
    These are the gifts which get passed on from grandparents and are cherished by grandchildren the world over. Hold onto them and pass them on when your turn comes. I’m sure you will enjoy passing them on as much as you enjoyed receiving them. 🙂

    • My mom is also getting close to Grandma age… Pending on me 😉
      It’s the cycle of life. Grandmas are precious and stay with us forever.
      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

    • Thank you so much Beth. It’s indeed a blessing to have had such a great influence in my life.
      Really great that you had two special grandmothers. They never really leave us.

    • Indeed Michael, we only realize it later on. How precious those moments really are.
      Thank you for dropping by my little corner of the internet and taking time to read, feel and comment 🙂

  6. Hello, so sorry for your loss. I have never met my grandparents. Everything you have written here, I picture them in my head and pretend it’s me spending time with my grandparents. Like you said, we all should cherish the memories we have.
    Thanks for stopping by and following my blog. I appreciate it. And I am looking forward to reading more of your blog. Helen

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Helen. It really comes to show how important it is for us to enjoy the people we love while they’re with us. Grandparents, parents, husbands, wives, sons or daughters. Life is short and sometimes it can be even shorter than we think. Thank you for dropping by my little corner of the internet.

  7. Andre´, thank you for writing about your grandmother and what she meant and still means to you. When I lost my grandmother I was shattered and could not work for a week. I dreamed about walking up to her house on the hill and finding her standing on the doorstep – waiting for me. 10 years after her death I kept dreaming, and just before waking up I was always so happy – I believed that her death was just a dream and that my dream was the real reality.
    Thank you for following me – I appreciate it very much. I will see more of you…you are very talented and a much better photographer than me. I’ll be back.

    • Sorry for you loss, Leya. It is very hard indeed to lose people so important to us. We’re left with our memories and it takes time to adjust.
      I really like your photography. I shoot a lot, every now and then I get real lucky.
      Thank you for visiting my blog and for your kind words.

  8. Hi André. Sorry. Navré. It’s a shame. But then after a while, one realizes they live with us. As some commemorate the centenary of WWI, I realize that my grandfather (born in 1890. fought the entire war) still lives because of my brother and I. We’re, I think, the only people (plus a cousin) to have known him. He died in 1967. But he still lives through us! 🙂
    (And I hope you’ve taken photos of your grandmother, because you do make great pictures!)
    Take care

    • Thank you so much for your comment. It means a lot. WWI and WWII brought so much pain and suffering but also stories of what great Men are able to achieve (their sacrifice enabled our freedom). It is up to us to perpetuate their learnings and the memories they left us.

  9. Lucky man…to have a grandma to have baked you like bread! I celebrate this loveliness, Andre. Not everyone has had this gift. I did…and now I’m a grandma myself. I’ll remember your ironing story…!

    • You’re so right J.H. Indeed, I was properly baked and I’m very lucky for that 😉
      It’s interesting how adults still keep memories from their grandparents even after years gone by. I still remember that it was my grandpa that taught me how to ride a bike.

  10. Yours is a warm and caring tribute, Andre. As you well know, any and all loss is difficult, even after the devastation has passed, it lingers. Every morning I am reminded of my maternal grandmother as I see and use her beloved tea bag strainer. I always thank her for teaching me how to make a good, strong cup of Irish Breakfast tea.

    • Hi Eric, indeed! I have similar experiences – Small objects, pictures, even certain events and sentences… I remember another event in particular. When I was around 8 or so, I promised my grandma I would one day become a powerful person but would never forget my origins and the honorable background of my grandparents. She reminded me of that a few weeks before passing. I remember it constantly 🙂 The honorable side of me always takes precedence and often makes me question some of our modern notions of what it takes to become/be a “powerful person”. I guess she knew by then that although possible, attaining both is a far stretch 😉 The greater good can be a dangerous slippery slope…
      Thank you for taking time to read and comment!

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