It's been a tough week around our house. Last Tuesday evening, my grandmother passed away.
Let's put it this way: goodbyes suck. Especially when they are the permanent kind. They leave that scratchy feeling in your eyes, the emptiness in the stomach. And while you know that you look normal to the rest of the world, your whole world feels tilted. The edges of life are sharper, and you want the word "FRAGILE" stamped on your forehead so that people will give you a wider berth.
I miss my Grandma. I miss her smile and her laugh, the way her eyes lit up when she played with my boys. She spent her whole life taking care of people - first her children, then her mother, then her husband. The last few years she and my uncle have taken turns taking care of each other through various issues. She never complained. Never threw the pity party that so many of us in care-giving positions are tempted to throw. It was her gift, and and she made it look like the most natural thing on earth.
In many ways, my Grandma's life was simple. Everything she did, she did it the right way, the first time. While the rest of us would speed through dinner, she was always the last one finished, enjoying every bite. As my cousins and I rapidly colored 2 dozen eggs, she drew the perfect dogwood flower on one egg, taking her time and savoring the experience. Making lasagna was an all-day undertaking, and it was always fabulous. And she was a master rose gardener - the type of gardening that requires absolute diligence, care, and patience.
There are so many times in life I rush to get to the next thing on the list or agenda. That rushing isn't going to give me any more minutes on the planet at the end of my life to kick back and enjoy. Life still ends. My grandma was the perfect model of enjoying life by taking each moment as it comes. The beacon of calm amidst a great deal of noise.
I have a lot to learn.