When I think about Grandmom, my mind is full of beautiful memories and my heart is filled with love. As a granddaughter-in-law she embraced me as if I were her own granddaughter. I think back over the ten years I have known her, and although much had changed – her physical health, her ability to travel, things like that – her character never did. She was always a woman full of strength – the kind of woman who was polite and full of grace but at the same time she would not put up with anyone’s “funnybusiness.” She was as sweet as a grandmom should be with a little bit of stubbornness and an Irish spit-fire mixed in. She was the kind of woman who could belly up to the bar with the best of them and still show up to church on Sunday morning.
She wasn’t the kind of woman who got caught up in all the lovey-dovey love stories on Lifetime or the Hallmark channel. On any given night you could find her up late watching one of her favorite crime shows or murdery mystery movies. I remember many times when my husband and I would be in the other room while she had the TV on. You knew it if she was watching America’s Funniest Home Videos. She had the best belly-laugh – that kind of contagious, genuine laugh – that you wish you could bottle up and keep forever. Even though she wasn’t all about the love stories – there was one love story that she was personally caught up in – the one with her and her husband, Richard. Although I never had a chance to meet Grandpa – it was clear throughout all of the years that I knew Grandmom that her love for him was something that any marriage should strive for. Many nights Grandmom would share stories from their dating relationship, to when they were newlyweds, raising their children, and afterward. His photo was hung prominently in the center of her home – like he was always with her. Now, Grandmom, we know you are with him happily in love all over again. As hard as it is to let go, it is comforting to know that you are together once again.
Grandmom found such joy in her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was the matriarch of our family and although it is going to be terribly difficult without her – there is no question in my heart that she will be there belly-laughing away at every happy moment we have as a family.