My Grandmother

I'm not sure how any of us can know exactly what to say at times like these. How can we so succinctly sum up someone's life in a matter of a few minutes what it took them years to accomplish and experience. To endure and to celebrate. To achieve and to be recognized.

I don't think I can. I don't think any of us can. I believe in my grandmother like a flower believes in the rain. It knows its there, coming again, waiting, patiently for the next time we meet. I miss my grandmother already and yet cannot wait until I can see her once again.

My grandmother is a beautiful woman. I saw the sunlight in her face. The morning rain in her smile. I felt the warm summer breeze in her touch. I felt the winter warmth of home when I hugged her. I remember thinking there was no one else on Earth who expressed the kindness that she felt toward me. I loved her. And she loved me. She loved us all without question or concern.

She knew us. She had faith in us. And as we went about our lives--Her children growing older, her grandchildren growing older, her great grandchildren growing older—she was there, for us always. Through the good and the bad.

I can only think of happy memories when recollecting on her life and how she's shaped mine.

As a child, I remember riding in her blue Skylark with her. Riding in the passenger seat with the windows rolled down. Thinking there wasn't much in life at the time that felt as simply aesthetic or wonderful as to just be in the presence of someone who loved me so unconditionally that I still can't comprehend.

I remember visiting her countless times in Transfer, the high rise, or at Whitecliff. I remember the long trips with her and my mother to visit Aunt Evie in Youngsville.

I remember the frantic trips to Pittsburgh when a new ailment caught her in its clutches. And I remember being by her side as she fought back with a resolve and determination that's been unmatched in my life. From heart attacks, kidney failure, broken hips, arms, and neck. She persevered valiantly against them all and took everything life could throw her way.

I've thought about this time. Where the absolute truth has been written and when life fades to black. Where the finality of our human existence comes down to a moment bereft with unknowns. But this much is certain, my Grandmother is in a better place. Because of the life she led. The lives she's touched. And the people she's left behind.

She lives on through us. She will be remembered on dreary days of boredom. And on beautiful autumn afternoons. On busy commutes to work. And momentary recollections in the cacophony of our modern lives. In the stories of our past, and the blessings of the ever present future.

To her countless progeny. To her heartfelt and dear friends. To her many acquaintances that knew her well. Don't dwell on these last few days. She will be missed by us all, understandably. But remember the life with which she lived and the positivity she brought to the lives of those around her.

It doesn't take health to be well. It doesn't take wealth to be rich. And my grandmother proved it every day I've known her.

I remember through all of this that I wouldn't be here if not for her and her life. And, I am so unbelievably grateful to her for all she has done for me. And, what the thoughts and memories of her will do for me the rest of mine.

I miss you, Grandma. I will always miss you.

©2010 J.Matti