Grandparents are special, aren’t they? I’m seeing the early stages of this with my parents and my brother’s little ones. The relationship seems to be one of mutual delight and adoration and I couldn’t love it more.
I was soo lucky to have that relationship with my grandma for 33 years. Delight and adoration, and also admiration and friendship. My Grandma Dixie was the most loved and precious person I’ve ever known. She never met a stranger, so not only are her four kids, 13 grandkids, and seven great-grandkids mourning this incredible loss, I imagine about 40,000 others are as well.
Grandma and Grandpa traveled all over the world during their 63 years together. She sprinkled her southern charm worldwide. She genuinely cared about everyone around her. She made people feel like they were enough and that they were treasured and that their story was worth hearing. Talking about her in past tense is heartbreaking.
When Grandma had a stroke last week, I was so mad at myself for living so far away. I went to bed that night cursing the same mountains and golden aspens I was praising hours before…but then I thought about how I got my love of nature, seasons, traveling, and mountains from her. I love that.
Grandma was all about her merciful Savior, her family, NDBC, the Appalachian Mountains, Dunedin beaches, Gator football, daylillies, Mars Hill College, sensational rummy, watching pelicans fly, a liitttle bit of wine and crunchies at 4pm, and much, much more.
She kept snail mail alive and it made any day better. She left the most amazing voicemails and usually ended with “…Grandma” as if she was signing a letter. She kept all of us up to date on what everyone was up to. We loved the same piano music and enjoyed the same books, always having plenty to talk about.
I flew home and held her hand and told her how I want to be just like her, wine at 4pm and all. We sat in the freezing cold Hospice room for a week, and she kept hanging on, hanging on.
This morning, I told her I had to go back to “Ideeho” (as she called it) and that Dad was taking me to the airport. I then told them the story about when I sat with Grandpa after his stroke, he would say, “Where’s my Dixie? Should I go sit closer to the door so I can be there when she comes in?” Dad and I teared up. I squeezed her hand and said, “I bet he’s sitting as close to the door as he can, Grandma.”
Dad said, “And everyone will be thankful to stop hearing ‘where’s my Dixie?’ after two years!”
When I got through security, my mom called to say Grandma passed away peacefully. Thinking about their reunion leaves me completely speechless…