We lost my grandmother today. She really was the most amazing woman I have ever known. She was strong and smart, practical and grounded. She was full of life and vibrancy until cancer took too much away from her. She was an optimist through and through; refusing to recognize the "not so flattering" facets of her loved ones. When I was finishing primary school my brothers and I came to live with my grandparents in the house my grandparents bought when they moved west from "The Dakotas," the house where my mother and her three younger siblings came home from the hospital after they were born, the house that was my childhood "home." In this house and on this couch (below) is where my grandmother drew her last breath late this morning. My grandfather was right beside her in the end that we all knew was coming quickly, which by no means determines the number of tears yet to fall. I am, in many ways, at peace with her death. The end was made graceful only with morophine and I am strengthened by her own faith in her heaven. More than anything in this moment, my heart is breaking for my grandfather and his great loss.
August 2005 - Geneva's first visit to Grandma and Grandpa's house.
Geneva on my lap beside my Grandmother's mother who we lost earlier this year, my Grandmother, and my Mother.
Geneva was the first 5th generation grand-daughter in our family.
Grandma and Geneva
April 2007 - Grandma and Avery during a first visit to meet her great-grandparents.
While I am grateful they got to have the time they did, my heart aches at the loss I feel for my girls to not have the pleasure of knowing their great-grandmother. Of course they will come to know her through my own memories as I retell our stories and try to live her lessons everyday: patience, unconditional love, optimism, quiet strength, passion for learning something new every day, and enjoying the rewards of simple, hard work done well.
August 2007 - Grandma and Avery "Littlefoot" (as Grandma called her).