There is a work of words, clumsily compiled, that I may eventually build with enough confidence to post or at least speak publicly - about my grandmother. She was the last of my grandparents to pass, but not even the last of my parents. We ideologically disagreed virulently... but I am starting to see that maybe my father's legacy of doing good and getting ******* around every corner but persevering anyway... may be a gift from both sides of my family. 93, I think she was 93. Two careers, 3 children, 5 grand children, 2 great grandkids.
It may be that her loss is so recent, or that the last 8 years through trauma, surgery, and recovery - being with her was more difficult, and I was also so far away. After losing my father, and never having been afforded the opportunity to decide for myself how I wanted to remember him, I reflect that maybe I could've spent more time with her - a conscious regret calcified by how difficult it became to talk to her more than a few minutes when I did. Those brief moments of recognition were like trying to watch someone using a fly-swatter in a hurricane of history - desperate to maybe, if lucky, remember me.
Those moments were so different from the hundreds of hours of conversation. When we would have lunch, just she and I - and SHE insisted that any words expressed between us remained only hers and mine... an honor I have always kept sacred.
I said at her funeral that she was a constant source of council, regardless our inability to find common ground on things like faith and "right".
It's weird that I may only be handling this now, but I think I understand her better than I did. To live that long, to experience so much... I am not sure I will ever have the clarity of spirit or the bravery of self to suffer so much for so long and still inspire so many. It was no accident that she was everyone's grandma - she did that on purpose, and we had better give her credit for that.