24 Jun

“All four of my grandparents are still alive,” is a statement I’ve said casually for years.  It almost always elicits a shocked reaction and a comment that I’m “very lucky.”  In the past eighteen months, the feeling of being lucky has been more clear than ever before as my statement changed to “Lucas has six great grandparents.”

And as those who are similarly lucky will relate, it’s hard to truly appreciate the luck when it is all you’ve ever known.  But, as I’ve come to appreciate in the past year and a half, I may not have always understood the luck, but I have always been grateful for the blessing of my grandparents.

Not only have I had the honor of living life with them for thirty one years, I’ve had the immense good fortune to know them.  They are involved grandparents.  The kind that show up for school programs,  extracurricular activities and graduations.  They are also there for Sunday dinners, every holiday and lots of phone calls.

Their lives — their great lives — provide road maps of history and also footprints into the future.  I am me, because they were them. Their stories, their history and their example resounds in the decisions I make, the life I live and the parent I’ve become.

Today, I said goodbye to one of my four grandparents.  And she was.. is wonderful. Standing less than five feet tall, she was beautiful, smart, reserved – the picture of grace and kindness.  She loved my grandfather fiercely.  She laughed and prayed and served. When all was quiet, she’d pipe up and make everyone laugh at her little zings. She adored chocolate and my mom’s cooking.  She was so proud of my dad – you could see it in her eyes.

She never had a bad word to say about anyone, and almost always found something sweet to say.  “Your hair looks so nice, honey,” she’d comment when I’d walk in wearing my grubbiest sweats.  “You have such a beautiful complexion,” she’d say despite my enormous pregnant belly during more recent visits. “You are going to be a great mom,” she said, telling me the tales of her own mothering experiences with crystalline recollection.

She was a blessing to me and to all who knew her.  And today, we said goodbye for now.

So now I’ll answer the question and say “I have four amazing grandparents.  Three are still here, but I was lucky and blessed enough to know and love them all. And I’ll never, ever forget any of them.”


7 Responses to “Grammy”

  1. Jen June 24, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    That was so sweet it brought tears to my eyes. So sorry for your family’s loss…she sounds like a great woman!

  2. Teresa June 25, 2012 at 5:26 am #

    Beautifully written, Jess.

  3. ~liz June 25, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    i love the photo of grammy holding lucas!

  4. Meg June 25, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    Thanks Jess. What a beautiful way to remember Grammy.

  5. GiGi June 25, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    What an accurate tribute, well done, Jess!!!!!

  6. Jim June 25, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

    You brought tears to my eyes and warmth to our family.


  7. jan kinnally June 26, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    That was a beautifully written tribute to your grandmom ! The picture of her holding Lucas is precious. It reminds me of the picture I have of my grandma McEnroe holding Jack as a baby. This is something you will treasure forever.
    Please send our love to your dad and his side of the family .
    Aunt Jan

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