My Grandma was just shy of her 95th birthday when she passed away. She lived one very long, and healthy life. And I knew the day was coming when I would need to say goodbye.
She was my only grandparent. And despite never living in the same state, we had a close relationship. She was always there for me, and involved in my life. She was a role model on so many levels, and I am so grateful that she was such a big part of my life and for so very long.
Seeing her as a great grandmother was by far the most rewarding. She loved the babies so very much, and the trips when she got to meet Wrigley and Parker are memories I will cherish forever.
The days leading up to her passing were sad. Booking the flight to say goodbye was sad. The service, burial, and shiva ceremonies were all very sad. And wrapping my head around what it means to no longer have her a phone call away – well, very sad, and something I don’t think I have fully accepted yet.
But, the weekend presented an opportunity to gather with family. And to remember. And all of that made me happy.
So in that light, here is what I choose to remember from my Grandma’s passing.
Despite cutting his first tooth on the same day, Camden was easy to entertain on the flight to Maryland – his first flight. And it was fun to be one-on-one with this guy, and to focus all my attention on him.
Cam and I got in on Saturday night, and Eli arrived not long after.
Not sure who was excited to see Eli more.
This all-star uncle, my baby brother and best friend, now resides in New York. So getting an impromptu visit with him was a huge silver lining on this whole situation.
While Grandma never had the chance to meet Camden, it was wonderful to introduce him to his cousins, aunts, uncles, and long-time family friends.
I have been packing in for sleep overs at my Aunt and Uncle’s house since I was a toddler, and sharing that same experience with Camden just felt right.
Wrigley got the same experience when he was 8 months old, and Parker when he was 10 months old.
And did I mention time with Eli? I mean really, that made my whole year!
In between shiva ceremonies we hopped back to my Aunt and Uncle’s house, and Eli and I shared a beer, some crabs, and crab cakes. We inhaled the food, said very little to each other, while Baba babysat Camden in the other room.
It is always so comforting just to have that guy by my side.
And I know it meant the world to my Dad to have Camden close by for this weekend. Baby snuggles make everything all right.
Plus, we got bonus fall!
Maryland was just at peek, and we took family walks daily to get our exercise and enjoy the perfect fall weather.
We got some quiet time in my Grandma’s house during the shiva. And while it was weird to not sit by her side and hold her hand for a visit, there was something about being in that space, laying Camden down for a nap on her bed, and thinking back through old memories, that felt comforting.
And after a whirlwind four days, Cam and I were back home with the rest of the brood.
Wrigley said he was excited for presents.
Parker said he was excited for cookies.
And Dan couldn’t wait to hold Camden.
And I returned home feeling very grateful.
Grateful to have had such a remarkable woman as my Grandma. Grateful that she raised such an incredible man, who has been an amazing Dad, a great friend, and the best Baba to his grandsons. And grateful to have had the chance to say goodbye and to honor her life.