I found out how fragile life is this week.
Everyone says it, but you just don’t feel it until death finds someone you love.
My grandmother passed away last Friday.
She slipped from this life quietly into the next.
She was an old lady.
The most heart wrenching part of the week was being around my grandfather. He would not be described as sweet but rather stubborn and crotchety. More ornery and cranky than cuddly.
My grandfather will steal your car if you leave your keys lying around. He will tell you exactly what he thinks of your clothing, your children, your car, your life choices…He is a no-holds-barred kind of guy. And always has been.
He was a railroad man.
He is and was a little rough around the edges.
My grandfather is a little confusing. Because even though he might holler and gripe and complain about anything and everything, he was good to my grandma.
And I love him for it.
I spent this week watching my grandpa grieve the loss of a woman he was married to for almost 69 years. I watched him weep when he had peach cobbler for dessert because it was my grandma’s favorite. I listened to his stories of how he met his sweet Joann Benedict. He talked about Grandma being a good girl. And he liked that. He talked about their four daughters, their grandchildren, their great-grandchildren.
“This here ring means something, and I don’t mean maybe.”
I sat with him before we walked in for the funeral and he told me about the cowboy hat he chose to wear. (We are Texans, people) He got his hat the day before he retired. He wore it for his last day of work on the Santa Fe Railroad…it is his favorite, and he said it was Grandma’s favorite too.
Grandma and Grandpa.
Grandma was a fun woman. She could beat the pants off of me in Scrabble. Every time. She was precious, sweet, giving. She was a caretaker. A friend. A fierce BINGO player. A lover of people. Of God. Of Grandpa.
I got to eat wonderful home-cooked food and listen to Grandpa crow that he lucked out and married the best cook in the entire world. I got to sit with Grandma and pit cherries, play cards, and watch old Doris Day movies. I was treated to lectures from Grandpa about the state of TV these days…nothing on but sex shows! And instructions from Grandma about how to be neighborly…just be friendly.
Grandpa says he thinks he will miss Grandma forever.
I know he will.