I had wanted to post this much earlier in the day, but a good portion of it was busy with a trip to the shore (we went on a pirate cruise in Wildwood), and then trying to recover from the trip. I had hoped that my mind was be a little less exhausted for this, but alas, it's not, so this won't be as eloquent as I would like it to be.
Today, July 29th, marks one year since my paternal grandmother, Gladys Ogbin, passed away. Before that, I had not really experienced the loss of a close loved one, only distant relations. And up until that day, I still had all four grandparents, and a great grandmother. But my grandmother's unexpected passing was the beginning of a chain of losses...my great grandmother, my maternal grandfather, and ending with my paternal grandfather. And leaving me with only one grandparent left, my maternal grandmother. I still remember this day a year ago. Getting the call from my mother sometime around 6am, already knowing it was bad news and figuring it was one of my grandfathers...one of them having been in a state of bad health for a few years in a nursing home and having lasted longer than we had expected (lost him September 24th)...and the other deteriorating from cancer for about a year and close to the end (lost him August 12th). But no, it was my grandmother, who had been admitted to the hospital a few days earlier and was expected to start dialysis as a result of kidney failure. No one had expected death to come instead, at least not so soon. I remember calling out of work and heading to the hospital, to say goodbye to her in my own way. I remember seeing her lying there, my first close up look at death, and feeling like it just wasn't real...that suddenly the warmth would come back into her expression, that she would suddenly open her eyes and say something. I remember the tears, the hugs shared with my sisters and parents, and the moments spent comforting one another.
I am too tired to say anything more deep...but...I miss you, Grandmom. I want you to know that I consider our baby daughter Maia, conceived right around when you passed from this world, to contain part of your spirit, part of your life...as one ends, another begins. I think of her as a special gift given as some consolation for the life lost...for the lives that would be lost in the coming weeks. Nothing can replace those lives lost, but that little miracle (unexpected miracle) made the losses more bearable.
Love you, Grandmom...with all my heart.