My Grandma died last week. She was a splendid grandma who lived to a ripe old age and invariably impressed my friends meeting her for the first time by waving her cane around and being up for anything. When I was young she read to me by the hour, baked with me, sewed for me, drew pictures with me, played endless games with me and taught me the chapters of the Bible, which I can still recite.
She was one of the most live and let live people I have ever known and after living almost a century had an incredibly balanced view of life. Although she wasn't much for talking about her own younger days, she would occassionally chime into a gloomy conversation about the state of the world with upbeat comments about how she grew up with coal ovens, asbestos, polio, etc., and lived through both world wars.
Life goes on, she would say.
She loved nothing so much as conversation, which made her final stroke especially sad. She was a talented musician and pianist and trained as an opera singer at Vasser before she married her father's top seminary student and started a family. She kept her voice well into her late 80s and her mental faculties until the very end.
She was a fine looking carrot top in her younger years and bequeathed me my redhead complexion, my robust peasant girl build and certain angles in my face.
She was so pleased about Gerhard. Or Rocco. Or James Tiberius. I wish she could have met him.
Here are my grandparents. These pictures were taken when they were younger than Ralf and me, which kind of makes you go, hmmmn. But you can see where I get my good looks.
Good bye, Grandma. Thank you for taking such good care of me all my life. I'll miss you and will never forget you. Part of you will still be with us every day.