One year ago yesterday, two of my “aunts” (cousins, really) took my grandmother out. They left the nursing home and went out for lunch. Then they gave her an early Christmas present. My grandmother’s room in the home had a bed, a little table and chair, a dresser, and a television, but nowhere really comfortable for sitting up to watch television. They gave her a nice glider rocking chair. That evening my mother called her like she did every night, right before bed time, and my grandmother was ecstatic. She was very lucid, she spoke about her day out, and she was sitting in her new chair while watching the hockey game – she never missed a Canadiens game unless she had no choice.
She was so very happy.
One year ago today, the very next day after her wonderful day, my mother called to tell me that my grandmother had died of a sudden heart attack.
I miss her so much and something about having it happen right around Christmas makes it worse. I feel so grateful to have had her in my life for so long – she was 92 years old. She knew Hayley very well and thought there was no one quite like her in the world. Hayley couldn’t wrap her mouth around “great-grandmother” when she was learning to talk so she called my grandmother by her first name, Aggie. We still refer to her as Aggie here. She also got to meet Breanna a few times and loved her.
Hayley took the death so hard that I sat up one night, neglecting other duties to sew an “Aggie doll”. Hayley had asked for one and I could not think of any store that would sell something that would work so I made it myself, my first real sewing project. As time went on, the pain eased, but sometimes I still go in to turn off her reading light after she falls asleep to find that she’s holding the Aggie doll tight in her arms.
Maybe I need an Aggie doll for myself.
Care to peek at a few more pictures?
Her old house, which no longer exists, a house I miss almost as much as I miss her.
Christmas 2004, making breakfast for us on her wood stove:
One of my favorite pictures, also from Christmas 2004 – Hayley was having her bedtime snack in her new Christmas Eve pajamas, telling my grandmother about how excited she was that Santa would be coming that night.
It’s amazing how you can have a huge hole in your heart and have it keep on beating.