Three years ago today my grandma died.
As grandma's go mine was pretty special. She loved me so much, (along with my brother and cousins, her children and family) I knew she was always in my corner, she encouraged me to be more and do more and she had confidence in who I was and who I could be. She was a tough lady and sometimes her way of showing her love was hard to appreciate but having overcome so many personal obstacles, if she thought you needed a push, you were getting a push.
In fact the last thing time we spoke, she gave me a push. This time it was to leave her bedside and take the family trip we were leaving on. The day she was put into the hospital was the day we were set to leave for Florida. I was working for the morning and we were leaving at noon and when my dad called to tell me that she was admitted and it did not look good, I did not want to leave. I went up to the hospital to see her, with only a few hours until we were supposed to start our drive. I could not keep from crying, she looked so tiny and so frail and I had to leave the room. My grandpa followed me out and told me that we had to go to Florida, she would not want me to stay. I composed myself and went back into the room, I totally intended on telling my grandma that I was not leaving, she looked at me and said "You need to go on this trip, I have survived this long, I don't know why you are crying, I will be here when you get back." There was no more discussion, no use in fighting, she had said her peace and that was that. I kissed her on the head and told her I loved her and took my boys to Florida.
On Saturday March 17th as we were driving to the Georgia border in the very early hours of the morning, my grandma died surrounded by my parents, my grandpa and my aunt. I was so sad that I was not there with her, I had always thought that would be a moment that she would need me but she needed me to be anywhere but there. I cried when my dad told me she was gone. The tears were a combination of sadness and relief that her tireless fight had come to an end. I also cried in gratitude because I knew that her years of battling illness was for me and all of our family, so that she could remain a fierce presence in our lives.
I had a dream in December of 2006, four months before she died, in it she was dying and we both knew it and she asked to talk to me. When I sat down beside her, she took my hand and told me that she had seen Flynn and that she knew she would hold him soon.
Three years ago my grandma died and since that moment I have appreciated how much she lived.