Time flies so quickly – this is Week 7 of the 52 Lists Project. The 52 Lists Project was created by Moorea Seal as a year of weekly journaling inspiration that will help you discover the beauty, joy, creativity, and power you already have.
So just about three and a half weeks ago my grandmother passed away unexpectedly. She had been in and out of the hospital for most of 2015. She was bound and determined to attend my cousin Ana’s wedding and was well enough to fly to the East Coast over the summer. Her health seemed to stabilize for the most part through the end of 2015.
I got to see her at Thanksgiving since she lived with my parents, and I had insisted that we take some quick family photos together. Boy am I glad that I did! Those are the last photos that we have together.
And in all honesty, I probably wasn’t the best at keeping in touch with my grandmother. I know that I could have done more to tell her that I loved her and appreciated her.
She lived a remarkable life. She was a young girl who lived through World War II in the Philippines – literally running away from Japanese occupation. She attended college in the United States – in Minnesota of all places for someone from a tropical climate. She met her husband (my grandfather) who was a Georgia boy from the South. They had the exact same birth date. They were on opposite sides of the world…I guess they were meant to be. She had eight children. She worked as a jeweler and survived a jewelry store hold up (just like in the movies). I was the first grandchild, so I was given the privilege of “naming” my grandmother. They tried to get me to call her “Abuelita”…but all I could muster was Lila…which is not too far off of “Lola” the Tagalog word for grandmother. It was a perfect fit.
Her absence will leave a hole in our hearts. She was quiet compared to her gregarious sister, but when it came to voicing her opinion, she always spoke her mind.
When she passed, it was a shock. We were not prepared for it. My mom told me that she had to send her to the hospital by ambulance due to a low pulse and low temperature, but given her fairly recent trips to the hospital it all seemed routine. About thirty minutes or so later, my dad texted me with the news.
I was so thankful for everyone that rallied. My cousins, aunts, uncles, extended family, and friends gathered to celebrate her life. It was heartwarming to see everyone who came to her memorial services.
List all the people who brighten your day:
- My husband
- My parents
- My sister
- My cousins
- My best friends
- My family