Back in January I mentioned that I got the opportunity to take a trip to my grandma's house. I am so glad that I was able to do that. About 4 weeks ago, she became quite ill and just never seemed to recover fully. She was staying in a nursing home for several days to recover, but sadly that did not happen. She ended up back in the hospital and with her family by her side, passed away on April 23rd, 2007.
I was able to go up there to her funeral and be with my family as we said goodbye to grandma. I had to keep telling myself that she was in a better place now. She wasn't in anymore pain. As I repeated this to myself over and over all of the memories of her came flooding in. The times we spent together. The summers that I got to go to her house and stay with her all by myself. The times we went and picked berries and I ate more than I put in the basket. The time I had a bad dream and crept into her bed and then proceeded to throw up all over her freshly pressed sheets. I could go on and on.
Even tho passing on is a natural part of life it never seems to get any easier to wade thru all the emotions that come along with it. The drive home was much more sober than I had anticipated. It seemed hard to find things to be happy about. Hard to make my way thru all the fog to get to the part where I could begin to see the clearing. It was almost like the fog kept getting thicker and thicker instead of lifting.
I arrived back home and dove into the arms of my husband who had stayed home so he could be with the kids and take care of home life. How I had missed him and his loving arms. The safety that they provide for me is endless. I wedged myself into them and just breathed. Breathing is so much easier when you have a safety net. He took me by the hand and told me to close my eyes. He walked me thru the gate and into the back yard. Back, back, and back some more. To this.
Honeycrisp Apple Tree
You see, when I was little and would go visit grandma over the summer we would spread a blanket out on the floor and have an apple party. We would go pick apples in the orchard and bring them home and wash em up. Then we would sit on the blanket and she would begin to peel. Every time she could peel the apple in one long, curly piece. Every time. And I would sit there in awe just wondering how she did that. Running it thru my fingers. Watching it curl round and round. When I had my kids she did the same for them every time we would go see her. They reacted the same way as I did. It was so special to get to see my memory alive thru them.
A few days before she passed, she had little bursts of energy and I got got to enjoy the bittersweet moment of talking to her on the telephone. Hearing her voice was happy and sad all at the same time and it was very hard for me to figure out how I should be feeling during this special moment in my life. This rare moment of hearing her for the last time.
What she said to me I will remember always. "Keep on having the apple parties." she said. "Have a wonderful life and tell the kids I love them so much."
So, as I sit here in the living room, I can see the apple tree that my husband planted for me. In memory of my grandma. And I will keep having the apple parties.
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