Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A heavy moment

It is strange that I wrote that post yesterday.

After work I needed to get my hair off on my neck and had broken my hair elastic, so I decided to try French braiding it. I successfully French braided my hair for the first time ever and called my Lita to tell her the exciting news (I used to have her French braid my hair all the time when I was younger). She was happy for my and impressed at my new found ability. After chatting for a little bit she reminded me that tomorrow (now today) is the anniversary of my grandma Barbara's death.

Today last year I was with my family, holding my grandmother's hand and watching as her breathing got more and more labored.

She is the first person I ever really knew who has passed away. My grandpa Ben had died the year before and although it was sad I knew he had been suffering and he was just waiting for it to end. Grandpa Ben also lived in Mexico City since I was born and I had only been to visit him a few times, and only twice that I can actually remember.

A couple or a few (who can remember?) days after my grandma passed I was sitting in a funeral home listening to words she had written before her death being read. She wrote about me, about her impressions of me and about her regrets (did she use that word?) about not knowing me better. I sat with the congregation (is that the appropriate word?) and continued to mourn about the fact that I hadn't known her better.

In those last days of her life and the days that followed I learned a lot about my grandmother. I learned things that I wish I had taken the time to learn or notice while she was still alive. I realized through hearing other people talk about her that she had a lot of qualities that I admire and desire for myself. Most of all I learned that she was a very non-judgmental and easily accepting person, and that she held a very important place in the lives of all of the children she had taught. My grandmother continued to teach by helping my aunt in her classroom until the day her cancer caused her to be physically incapable of going on. My grandmother was almost 80 years old at that time. Also, did notice I said helping my aunt in her classroom. That's right, she had such a functional relationship with her daughter that she was able to go into her place of work daily and they worked side by side.

This is my grandma Barbara:

is on the left with her eyes closed. This is at my college graduation in 2004. She was a beautiful woman. In their wedding pictures she and my grandpa look like some sort of celebrity couple.

I think I'm done now. I just wanted to take a moment to remember her.

1 comment:

D.B. Echo said...

Thank you for sharing that with us, Melanie.