My memories are like dreams, the best possible kind. I remember rolling down the hill in her backyard, and spending lazy summer days lounging in front of the lake together. My memories are full of poker chips and goldfish (for when the poker chips were unavailable).
I remember the shriek she would make when someone would unexpectedly beat her in five card draw, the way she’d stand with a hand on her hip while she bossed my dad around, and most especially the way that her smile lit up her entire face and left her eyes twinkling.
She was a lovely combination of beer lover and Emily Post. Her manners were impeccable and she was capable of carrying a conversation with anyone, all while keeping the topic off herself. These conversations usually occurred while she sipped a cold one in a tall glass.
She carried herself with a quiet strength and grace; the kind of strength that you can only acquire from getting through difficult times.
She went by the name “G” or “G Dizz” short for “G-Dizzle”; a gansta name we appointed her with in my younger years, that stuck all the way until now. She never let her classiness get in the way of embracing the name.
She called me “L”, which is I guess, her attempt at a gansta name. On her voicemails (which I have saved so I don’t forget her voice), she calls me “sweetie pie” and ends her messages with “Love ya”. At the end of phone conversations, she would follow the “love ya” with kiss noises before she hung up the phone.
We said goodbye to my Grandma this past week. Because of the pandemic, it was not in any form a normal goodbye. I didn’t get to hold her hand, or whisper in her ear how much I loved her. I didn’t get to sit by her side and soak in her presence for one last time.
No, this goodbye was different. Lucid to her last day, she kindly used her final energy to take FaceTime calls from those who needed to say goodbye.
Graceful as always, she apologized for her slurring thanks to a recent stroke and informed me that she was wearing the bathrobe I had given her for her birthday five years ago.
The call was quick; less than five minutes. I didn’t want to impede on her napping and thankfully we had spent plenty of time in prior weeks chatting over the phone so that when this goodbye came, it would be okay to keep it short.
A day or two after squeezing in all of her goodbyes, she died quietly, surrounded by family.
She is and was and will always be in my memory, beautiful.
Sending love to all,