Today is the 5th anniversary of my Gramma’s death. Hard to believe.
Today my heart aches for my kids to know her and especially for her to know my kids. She was literally on her death-bed, me saying goodbye, when I had a moment that I wanted to tell her our secret, ‘We are trying to have a baby Gramma.’ Though it was right there, hanging around my tonsils, the words did not quite come forth. Because I knew, if they did, it was out of my own selfishness. My Gramma was so tired. She was ready. She had made her decision. My words would have left her conflicted and I did not want to disrupt her peace. The air in her room sung of sadness but also of acceptance. Peace.
So I kept my trap shut.
She passed away so very peacefully with her family around her.
Two weeks later, after 10 months of trying, conception. New life.
So you see, most days I am at peace that she will never meet my girls because I know that she does know them. I feel her with them.
Still, on days like today when life is busy with swim lessons and dance lessons and giggles and fun, the thought sneaks in on how much my Gramma would have enjoyed these girls. Especially at this time of year. Her time of year.
With all the hustle and bustle and shopping and baking. She became frantic with lists, gifts, wrapping and food. Occasionally she would slow down for a moment and truly enjoy A Christmas Story or singing (badly) a Christmas tune. Then she’d become frantic again forgetting price tags on gifts and not so much wrapping as slapping together the gifts (when gift bags became all the rage, we never saw a wrapped present again!) But for all the stress and worry and trying to get it all right, I think my Gram just loved the glitter and tradition and giving of the season. Mostly she loved the kids. Around town or on TV and most especially us, her grandkids, loving the build up as much as the toys.
My Gramma lived for this time of year. Perhaps it is odd to say, but it is fitting that she also died here. No bustle left, but still amongst the glitter and magic she could pass on.
She leaves my mother and myself to carry on her legacy of spoiling and giddiness. Of watching Christmas movies, reading The Night Before Christmas, and singing carols (badly). But mostly she leaves us with the lesson to not take a moment of it for granted. Embrace, enjoy, spoil these kids, because they will not be kids forever. So we will. We will embrace the season with wonder, joy and awe, just as kids do.
Having a hard time remembering the joy of the season amongst the lines, singing reindeers, soap baskets and chocolate boxes? May I suggest turning off all the noise and sitting at the Christmas tree with a kid, any kid, borrow one if you have to (disclaimer: please ask permission first!), and watch as their eyes sparkle.
Tree lights not even required.