Last Friday, July 17th, 2020, my grandma Mareida died in Florida. She was 99 1/2 years old.
Sometimes I struggle to find the words - this is what I have for now.
The memories come in short, fragmented glimpses.
Sitting at the table snapping green beans for dinner.
Finding the perfect bird-themed present.
Baking Chocolate diamonds, but more likely, snacking on the ones she made before we even arrived.
Setting the table for Thanksgiving Dinner, or Christmas dinner, or just an any day dinner.
Cleaning the house top to bottom before she and Grandpa came to visit. Taking her hand as soon as possible after she arrived to show off my sparkling clean bedroom.
Being reminded not to play under the beds in our room at their house because the trundle bed might fall.
Playing on the shaggy carpet of the living room.
Playing piano for her...during the three years I tried to learn to play the piano. Her cheering me on.
Choosing to be her canasta partner because maybe together we could beat Grandpa.
Learning a new card game when I visited her at her new apartment. Playing Bingo with her in the community room.
The birthday checks when I was a kid in the amount of the age I was turning.
Seeing the towel I decorated in preschool still hanging in her bathroom years later.
Hugs and kisses.
Visiting her in Florida all by myself when I was 14, going with her and Grandpa to see a production of Wizard of Oz.
The Christmas when the power went out because Florida had a cold snap. The hurricane in Charlotte when they were visiting us.
Her giving me my Bible at my ordination service.
Family reunions in the mountains of Georgia.
The memories don't feel like enough. There was so much more to her than what I experienced in the one or two visits we shared a year. So much more in the 63 years before I was even born. But they are what I have and I cherish them.
Grief is strange in this time. There is no service planned. I am away from my family, and daily life continues apace. For me, it seems the ripples of her death are spreading slowly, coming very much in waves. Three children, five grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren. A lot of love. A lot of memories yet to be shared.
Love you Grandma.