I don't want to forget.
Today is the second anniversary of my grandmother's death, and I have one thought-I don't want to forget her.
Last year I wanted to write something in honour of her, but I was still grieving and couldn't even talk about it without crying, let alone put my thoughts out there for anyone to read. I made it to her grave on the anniversary of her death and that was about all I could do, because it still felt so fresh. She died of breast cancer, and it was quick...she left us 2 months after her diagnosis (a late diagnosis I am sure), but those two months were so horrible that all I wanted after that was to forget everything.
My grandmother (or Nana as we affectionately called her) lived with my family for 13 years, so she was my second Mom. When I was younger (before she lived with us) I used to go to her house for sleepovers, and we would walk down Bank Street to Miss Tiggy Winkles, where she would buy me a new box of 60 Crayola crayons and a coloring book of my choice (usually Barbie or Disney Princesses). She always had Werther's Original candies in her purse, loved ice cream and referred to the basement as the cellar. She also loved to tell stories about her life, and I can remember almost all of them, because she told them often. She was loved by everyone, even my friends would stick around to chat with her, and she would light up at having a new audience.
She never interfered with my parents when they had to discipline us....except the odd time when she would be trying to stifle a laugh and eventually say "I'm just glad it's not me anymore!" Growing up I would come home from school and go to her room first to watch tv, she loved the company and I loved having someone to talk to during commercials. Sometimes Nana would come downstairs looking for someone to watch tv with her, but try to make it subtle by saying "Oh. I'm just going to make myself some tea if you want to check what's on tv". She also had a very special bond with our family dog Muffy. Muffy was actually my dog, but during the day when I went to school, she would go up to Nana's room and hang out with her all day. As a result Muffy developed a few bad habits, such as barking at the bathtub until you turned the tap on so she could drink out of it, only eating her food if it was taken out of her bowl and placed on the floor and thinking the left side of any chair was hers. But we let these thing's go on, because she was great company for Nana, and if Nana wanted to do those thing's for the dog that was fine. It got to the point that wherever Nana went, Muffy did too. Even on her death bed there was Muffy, looking sad, but still keeping Nana company.
I can still remember the last conversation I had with my Nana (before a series of strokes took away her ability to recognize me, let alone hold a conversation). Nana loved Ben, he came over a lot and would have long chats with her and she just thought he was just wonderful. One day we were sitting on the couch and I think I was showing her some pictures, and suddenly she turned to me and said "Are you and Ben still doing ok?" I told her of course, and she said "Good, I want to make sure you're taken care of ". That comment came out of nowhere for me, but it didn't surprise me, there she was, aware of her diagnosis, knowing she was going to die, and her concern was for her family, that we would be ok. I know she thought of Ben as family at that point, for her to say something like that, and I am so grateful for those words.
Even though I will always love and miss her, it's not as painful to remember her anymore. There is so much more that I could share about her here, in fact I don't think I've quite done her justice, but I'm glad that I can think of her today and smile. You were an amazing grandmother Nana, I will never forget you.