Tonight I find myself experiencing another loss with the passing of my Grandmother. We called her Grammie or Gram - her name was Evelyn (Summerbell) Silbernagel.
I spent most of the morning and afternoon feeling incredibly sad, but as the sun was setting I took a walk. As I wandered around the mesa, I took a deep breath and snapped into the moment - the sky was really beautiful: clear and crisp and I could see for miles. I was reminded that the only moment that exists is the present. The moment felt amazing and a wave of gratefulness washed over me - 56 years with my Gram is a good, long time.
As a child I was excited to go to her house, play at her house and didn't want to leave. I was excited when she was coming to our house, loved going to Willowbrook mall with her and making fun of silly shoes, getting lunch at Friendly's and years later, visiting her at her cozy home in Florida.
I realized that all of those memories were just that, memories and that they would never change or go away. What will change? I won't receive a birthday card from her any more, but since she still didn't forget to send me one when she was 95, I think I've received plenty - actually more than plenty, each one with a positive message, encouraging me to "not work too hard" and to use the enclosed check for something special "just for fun." I didn't always heed her advice, but I'm starting to understand her point.
I won't hear her voice chirp, "Hi Hon!" on the other end of the phone. "How are Greg and the boys?" When I was young, every Thanksgiving was at her house, I loved her ham sandwiches and her house had a piano! When I was grown up we shared coffee in the morning and wine before dinner. She got me hooked on flavored creamers and a good glass of Chardonnay, but she never overdid anything - I mean not. a. thing.
I learned that it wasn't that Gram never worried about anything, but she rarely lingered. She knew how to enjoy today and if it wasn't so great, then get up, do your work and make the best of the next one. She enjoyed us all: 3 daughters, 8 grand children, 9 great grand children and 1 great-great. I know she had her opinions, but I never felt judged by her - only accepted and supported, always.
So I choose to consider all of that in present tense, because although we won't make any new memories, there are more than plenty to remember. Since she stayed to play on the earth for 95 years, I'll try not to be greedy because there won't be more. I can think of her and smile anytime, just as I would when she was alive on the opposite side of the country. I used to say to my sons growing up, "don't be a more boy" and now I need to remind myself, that we don't need more of Gram - she gave us plenty and then some.
I realized on my walk that I don't feel less loved because Gram has passed on. I feel all that ever was, which fills me up right now. I lifted my head from the ground and looked out at the beautiful sunset and took in the moment and then the next and the next one after that. When I got home, I didn't feel as sad. I felt more connected to Gram's energy of living in each day and choosing to feel happy.
I love my Gram right now and plan to in the next moment and the one after that.
Peace to my Grammie who is in nothing but love now (hopefully sipping wine) -