I talked to my Gramma on the phone yesterday.
In May, I saw her.
In August, she celebrated her 95th birthday.
In the spring, her 12th great-grandchild will be 2 years old.
She told me she is tired.
My nephew Andrew, Gramma, me, my niece Chloe, and KK – October 2011
Miranda heard me talking to Rod about the inevitable. It’s another thing that moving away has changed. If Gramma might be dying, do I go? Do I wait until? Do we all go? Do we drive or try to fly? The logistics of long-distance family carry many questions.
Anyway, my girls have always adored their Great Gramma, so Miranda asked me in the only frame of reference she has, “Does that mean it would happen to her like Papa Bernie?”
Papa Bernie is my sister-in-law’s dad, who battled cancer, whom we prayed for many times, who fought and fought and eventually, ended his battle this past March. He is, so far, the only person my girls have known who has passed away. They still think about it a lot. But it was different. It seemed to all of us that Papa Bernie still had living to do.
Whereas, my Gramma…she feels like she has seen it all. And so I told Miranda that. “Great Gramma has seen so many things. And she knows her kids are all grown and happy, and her grandkids, and now her great-grandkids like you. Now the only thing she wants to see is Jesus.”
At age 35, I know exactly how blessed I am still to have a grandmother in my life. But for her sake, through her eyes, I am so excited for her walk of faith to end with the moment she truly sees it all.
In a perfect world, I would post one of my gramma’s recipes here. She made delicious homemade pasta…spaghetti that would dry out in shirt boxes on the extra beds, waiting for a holiday, roast chicken moist and just a little spicy, tomato sauce that was sweet and smooth, fried dough and popcorn and a hundred other things that I can imagine as if I tasted them yesterday. I don’t have any recipes. There aren’t any that I know of. I just have memories and menus to emulate as life goes on. Last year, when I began my Chicagolina-Thanksgiving tradition, I decided to take a page from her menu and serve a “spaghetti appetizer” before the turkey main attraction. That’s the closest I have to cooking like her. I will hold on to it, and pass it on.