I have started this post at least a dozen times over the course of the past month. Each time, the words just did not come out right. This blog has been an outlet for me over the past year – in many ways. I’ve shared wedding plans and DIY projects, and occasionally written about topics of a more personal nature – today being one of those occasions.
2 months ago my grandmother – my Mommom – passed away. You may remember her from this mother’s day series I wrote last spring, when I talked about some of her amazing qualities & some of the important life lessons that I learned from her over the years.
I’ve always counted myself to be so very lucky for having had so many years with each of my four grandparents. I lost my first, my paternal Grandfather, a few years ago – and it was a harsh reality to accept that I would not have my loving grandparents in my life forever.
My Mommom was diagnosed with a rare and terminal illness many years ago. And so my family prepared, in as much as one can prepare, for the day that we would have to say goodbye. Each holiday was a special joy, and having her with me on my wedding day was a blessing I had hardly dared to hope for.
But all of these important moments shared with her are kept only in my memory now. There will not be another Christmas together, there will not be baptisms and birthday parties. My future children will never know her – will never feel her unconditional love, experience her intelligent wit, or share an Entenmann’s crumb cake doughnut with her after a sleepover.
I worry that my own memory is insufficient. My younger brother remembers details and moments that are merely a haze to me. I remember fragments – pieces of my past. Like the colors of her garden in the springtime, the sandy taste of her Werther’s Butterscotch candies on a hot summer day down the shore, and the smell of spaghetti and meatballs cooking on her stove as I sat at her round kitchen table. I remember how she rarely raised her voice, and that she loved to tell stories. I remember mother-daughter miniature golf tournaments – for which my mother, Mommom and I would team up – and listening to broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera House over the radio together.
I remember taking for granted that she would always be at everything. Every concert, soccer game, school play and recital. Every holiday dinner, every lazy summer in LBI. And as I grew older, and as I watched my friends lose their grandparents, I remember the the tightness in my chest at the thought of having to say goodbye.
I miss her. I miss just seeing her, just sitting close to her. I miss the way my mother would tell her funny stories and make jokes because she couldn’t do that herself anymore. I miss watching my grandfather look at her with his expression of constant, steady love.
I wear this locket now – and gave its twin to my mother – so that I can always carry my Mommom close. It’s the beautiful Forget Me Not Tiny Heart Locket from Heartworks by Lori, which I then sized and cut a photograph to fit inside.
The image is of the hands of my Mommom and my mother, along with mine – joined on my wedding day this past October.
Three generations of strong, intelligent, funny and loving women (not to toot my own horn!) Each caring for the other in their own special way. It’s an image that reminds me of how lucky I was – and am – and to forever treasure my memories.