I left work early today to attend my Grandma Jean's last rites. Her life is drawing to a close and I find my mind is full of happy memories that make me feel like crying. She is the last of my four wonderful, unique and loving grandparents (I was lucky enough to know some of my great-grandparents too!), but in many ways she has been gone for a long time. She has advanced alzheimer's disease and I know that her death will in some ways be a blessing. But it still hurts. A lot.
Grandma Jean was the best of grandmas in all the ways that grandmas are the best. She made the best sugar cookies ever and her cookie jar was always full. She sewed clothes for me and my Barbie and she always served bean soup with goldfish crackers for my lunch. She and Grandpa didn't have a lot of extra money, but she started putting money in a savings account when I was born for me to go to college. She paid my room and board for my freshman year. She was always full of hugs and kisses, she read me books, she and Grandpa took me on trips. Most of all, she loved me, always and everywhere, no matter what. I can still hear the pride in her voice when she introduced me to people and said "this is my granddaughter!" What a wonderful thing it is to be loved like that! Godspeed Grandma Jean. I love you so much. Kiss Grandpa for me when you get there.