Thursday, May 17, 2012

Goodbye, Gran

I lost my grandmother last fall, and with the passing of time have found the strength to discuss it on my blog without crying like a young child for hours after the fact.  Having never lost anyone this close or this integral to my childhood, I discovered some brand new things about loss.  For me, the sadness eventually transformed into a deep sense of honor that I was ever blessed with her presence in the first place.


Gran was a teacher and a librarian, so there were many people who were affected by her kindness, her sense of humor, and her passion for learning.  Even in her last years, long after she had retired, she still taught a Sunday School class at her church because she genuinely enjoyed reaching out and helping people grow.  The perks of being her granddaughter were tremendous.  She contributed greatly to my happy childhood with her generous spirit.  For example, I loved watching Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego at her house after school, and I once mentioned how much I loved the globe earrings worn by "The Chief". I don't know how she tracked them down, because this was well before the internet changed the way we shop, but somehow she found a pair of globe earrings and gave them to me. It wasn't even a birthday or any other gift-giving occasion, she did it just because she paid attention to me and wanted me to feel special, and she did things like that all the time.


Other than road raging at "old cadgers" who drove too slowly and blocked traffic, I never witnessed her speaking negatively about anyone (and the only reason she ranted about cadgers was because it made me giggle uncontrollably, so she'd say it over and over again just to make me laugh). She was incredibly sweet, but also stern when it came to manners. Showing respect for others was very important to her, a quality I'm happy to say was nurtured in me at an early age. I am still discovering little bits of her in my personality, and I hope this trend continues well into my own grandmother years. I'll think of her every time I cuddle up with a book and spend hours in its grasp. Every time I brush my hair behind my ear, I'll remember her telling me my face was far too pretty to let my hair cover it up. When I see elderly people advancing slowly down the road in their Cadillacs, I'll call them cadgers in my mind. And as I grow to be a strong woman who constantly educates herself and attempts to help others find their passions, I will thank my lucky stars that I have the example of a strong, kind-hearted woman like my Gran to guide me through life.

Where The Heart Is
 A famous excerpt from Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts, a book my Gran adored and passed on to me when I was younger.

Who helped shape the person you are now?  What qualities do you see in yourself that you know were inspired by the ones you love?


Christine Sharp-Crowe said...

Such a sweet post, Holly. Your grandma was lucky to have a wonderful grand daughter like you. I bet she was so proud of you!

I wrote a really sappy post about both of my grandmothers yesterday and haven't posted it yet because it made me feel pretty weepy, but I think I'm gonna dig up some pictures to add and post it next week. :)

Pili said...

What a wonderful woman your grandma must have been! It's never easy to lose loved ones, but they are never gone while we have them in our hearts & minds.

*big hugs*

sweetheartville said...

She sounds like such a special lady. You have so many of her qualities, and I'm certain she was proud to have a granddaughter like you. Thank you for sharing.

I have only one grandparent left. I lost both of my grandfathers much too early, my beloved Grandma Coke when I was in my early 20s, and I lost my own father 5 years ago. It's so hard. As I get older I recognize these loved ones more and more in myself, and most startlingly, in my girls. It's amazing and bittersweet when it happens. It comforts me to know that they will live on in these little tilts of the head, in Ivy's cleft chin, in all three of our blue eyes, and in certain funny quirks of my daughters' personalities.

Love to you, Holly.

JustMe said...

What a beautiful testament to your grandma and how we can love someone after they've passed.

Thanks for sharing, lovely. :)

Christie Cottage said...

A beautiful post showing the love for a beautiful spirit who helped mold you into...YOU!

I am a grandma and I spend as much time with my grandson as I can. Someone asked me why I play so hard and paint and get in the creek and climb the monkey bars... I simply said I want him to remember me.

We all have someone who spent a little "extra" time with us and helped shape us.

Me, I have a lot of my Dad and my Aunt (Dad's sister) in me. I was raised to "say what I mean and MEAN what I say". Works for me!

Have a wonderful day and thank you for sharing your Gran with us!


Cindy said...

I'm sorry for your loss. Grandmas can be such a positive influence on a child. Sound like you had a wonderful grandma!

Heather said...

What a lovely lady! Sounds like you're taking after her in many ways and keeping her lovely spirit alive! She's beautiful (and you are too!!!)

I lost my great grandma when I was four, but she cared for me every weekday while my parents worked, so I have lots of dreamy memories of her. I remember she was a sweet lady who loved to garden and cook. I have a photo of her as a young woman in the 1920s wearing a big full length coat. Now I know where my love of coats come from!

DancingMooney ♥ said...

So sorry you lost your Gran Holly, but you are right, it really is an honor to have such wonderful women that have influenced us. My grandma was deeply important to me as well, and I lost her when I was only about 8 years old... It wasn't until I started becoming a woman myself, that I realized how similar I am to her, and how much her ways have impacted who I am becoming... forever in our hearts. And with a tear in my eye just thinking about it... ♥

Phyll said...

Holly , I don't rember how I started following your blog, but when I read this I thought how beautiful on the first picture then I scrolled down & there was my high school english & speech teacher. She was a sweetie & I enjoyed her. I even got the award in speech class although I was scared to death to talk in public she taught us how to pick out a nice face on each side & talk to them. She taught me in 74 & 75. I was sorry to hear of her passing , a lot of people did love her a lot.

Faerie Moon Creations said...

What a beautiful and loving post for your grandmother. I was really touched by this. Thank you for sharing her with all of us.

Robin Thomas said...

"deep sense of honor."

How lovely to feel that and to express it so beautifully.


Thank you for being able to honor us with this lovely lady.

Bonnie said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my grandfather a year and a half ago, and I still think about him every single day.
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Anonymous said...

i'm glad you had a wonderful grandma to inspire you. btw, I'm having a 100+ Follower Urban Decay Giveaway! I hope you enter :) put a smile on your face for awhile :)

cabin + cub said...

She is surely smiling down on you. Always hard to say goodbye. Lots of hugs to you.

FashionFreak/Mihaela said...

Great post! I love it.

new in - oasap♥mfashionfreak

Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog <3

johnpeterjohn said...

wow.! she is too good :)

ArtistGirl said...

Your Grandmother was beautiful inside and out.

Rheea said...

Your love to your grandma made my eyes teary reading this post. Your grandma is such an amazing soul. I'm sure she is in a beautiful place with the Angels now. I can totally see her spirit in you, my dear friend; the way you always inspire us, the way you make us smile, your warmth towards your loved ones, your passion for life, your kindness and sincerity towards everyone, strangers or not. Though we've never met in person and we're so far apart, I feel I've known you for a long time. As promised, I would really really love to visit you before I leave this world. Thank you for being my friend. And thank you for being you. :)