Today marks a year since my grandmother passed away. She was the last of my grandparents and perhaps the death that really tore me apart. She was the glue to the family, and I firmly believe our hearts were powered by hers.
My grandmother was the nicest person I’ve ever met in my life, and everyone whom met her says the same thing. I often referred to her as my second mother because she assumed that motherly figure role that helped comfort me when my mother passed away. I can remember her always making me food, even when I wasn’t hungry. I often was picky about how I liked certain foods cooked too, such as my grilled cheese being cooked in a toaster, and not the stove. She remembered every time though! Cookies and other junk food were always supplied, and she thought she could beef me up, but my metabolism never allowed that. I loved when we played Rummy 500, and I’m so glad the last time we ever played, she won. She went out on top in the game she taught me to love, and I don’t think there was ever a dull moment playing with her. I loved to visit her, and I always stayed later than I should have, just because her presence. I can remember my dad calling me up to tell me to come home soon, but I often told him “just another hour”. I miss her compliments as well, I mean she did call me “Guapo” (handsome in Spanish). She definitely knew how boost your self-esteem, and I can’t remember us ever being angry at each other. It was all smiles with her, and she was so easy-going.
She was blessed with great health for a long time, until she needed surgery on her aortic valve. She made it through that surgery, but it drained her. Often getting shortness of breath, or just having no energy to do much, she more or less was contained to her house. But, she made it out a few times, especially for the holidays. A few years after her surgery, she than began to lose her memory. It was one of the saddest thing I experienced. She would ask you the same question a few times, in only a span of five minutes. But oddly, she would remember stories back in the day, especially how she met her husband. I loved her stories too, and it was probably because anything that had to do in the past was much more interesting than now. I can see her now, in her reclining chair talking to me, with the TV at one-hundred volume.
Thanksgiving day, not at her house anymore kills me inside often. It was all I knew growing up, and it hasn’t been easy to adjust. She made this amazing gravy, that not one person in the family did not like. It’s soooooo good! Her Swedish meatballs and Macaroni and Cheese was another of my favorites. Those were the good times, and life without her has been so difficult. Every holiday, her not being there, leaves a certain void that can’t be filled. I’m not quite sure how to overcome her death either because it was in comparison to say Martin Luther King Jr. being killed. The impact King had on the black community, was that of my grandmother having on our family. Obviously I’m not implying the magnitude of their accomplishments, but instead the importance they had on others lives.
Perhaps one of the worst weeks of my life was seeing her, hours before she would die. Short breaths, totally inattentive, and could go at any minute. We were all in the room, at her bed, and stayed for as long as we could. The last goodbye to her, and not knowing if she could hear me, was saddening. I remember thanking her for all she did for me, although it was mostly murmuring with all the crying I was doing. She would than pass away that morning, and I can remember not sleeping the entire night just thinking about her. I often have vivid memories of that day, and it’s part of the reason I can’t fall asleep right away some nights. The day of her wake, would also be the first day at my new college. So everything just happened so quick, and it snowed that day too. I believe it was the only day it would snow in the winter of 2012 in New York, which was odd.
My grandmother was an angel, even before her death. I’m happy that I was able to take a few things from her house and implement them into mine. They will be with me forever, and I hope I can pass them on in the future. I’ll never forget her, and I credit her for shaping me as a human being. I often try to mimic her ways, but she was to dam nice too. I’d be lucky to be half of what she was, and I don’t think I’ll ever come across another woman quite as amazing as her.