Celebrating Life this Holiday Season


“Everything changes in third grade, Bud.” My wise eight year old is schooling her five year old brother. “You don’t get a Big Buddy anymore at school. YOU ARE the Big Buddy.”

These words hit something in my memory. I flash to a month after my Grandmother’s death (something I’ve talked about before) and I remember my mom saying to me, “It’s so weird to not have a mom. Now I *am* the mom.”

Today is my grandmother’s birthday. She passed away this month, too, but I try not to think of that date. Instead, when I think of my grandmother, I do so on this day, her LIFE day.

It wasn’t until my early twenties, after my Grandfather passed that I came to know her better and it wasn’t until after her death I realized how alike we are. My Grandmother was a traveler, a writer, a hard worker. She enjoyed the company of girlfriends and her family. She struggled with depression and a need to please everyone. She wore class and kindness the way some women wear pearls.

That last bit, I’m still working toward.

My Grandmother is the kind of person who is always alive. She lives in my goals and life’s lessons. She lives in my wishes. She lives in my daughter and my son when I look at them and picture her next to them at Christmas or birthdays.

It’s been a decade since her death. A decade. Someone might wonder, then, why this day would mean anything more than The Day We Were Brought In To The War (for the American citizens) or Just Another Bloody Working Day (for the rest). But the truth is, in ten years so much has append. My Grandmother was the kind of lady who would IM me during the work day and even still I miss this. My Grandmother was the lady who would stay out until 11pm talking at Starbucks with my Mom and I. My Grandmother was the person to bestow some of the best advice of marriage and life and living. Even in her death, my Grandmother has shaped so much of who I am, where I went, what I became.

They say you have to skip a generation to truly understand who you are. I dunno, maybe they don’t say that but I just did. Moms and Daughters might clash but the Grandmother / Grandaughter relationship is beyond judgement or strife or told-you-so’s. Especially with my Grandma who guided her grandchildren quietly behind their mothers, quietly behind their fathers, and quietly leaving the biggest impact of all.

I miss and love you G’ma. I still have you on my Yahoo IM. You know.. just in case there’s Internet in Heaven. (Do they have that yet? Because seriously, even the rural areas do here.)