Gone, But Not Forgotten

April 22, 2011

in Song of the Week

A week ago today my grandmother died. Gram lived over 90 years. She buried 11 siblings, two husbands, a son, and a grandson. Gram was a strong, remarkable woman who had difficulties in life. Loss of loved ones being the greatest challenge for her.

Over 60 years ago my grandmother, a mother to a young boy, unexpectedly lost her husband. A few weeks later she discovered she was pregnant with her second child. That was a time in history that was not easy for a single mom, but with strong faith and a supportive family, she succeeded in life. Gram worked full-time as a nurse and cared for her boys. Not until her boys were grown, married, and had their own children did Gram remarry.

Her story has been a source of strength for me at challenging times these last few years I have been a single mom. It’s a lot easier for me in 2011 than it was for Gram over 60 years ago.

Monkey was comforting me last week, the day before Gram died. He told me to not be sad because “Great-Gram knows so many people in Heaven. If she goes to Heaven soon she is going to be happy visiting with people she has not seen in a long time.”

Monkey is right.

Today I leave for her funeral. Thanks to Monkey, I will spend the weekend focusing on celebrating her life, knowing she is happy and at peace now. My son gave me a gift, helping me shift my perspective last week. I will carry that with me this weekend.

I hope to keep her memory alive through my children by continuing to share with them that their Great-Gram was strong, resourceful, and resilient. This is particularly important for Princess Daisy. I don’t want her to feel limitations in life based on gender. Her great-grandmother overcame obstacles to raise two boys on her own while handling a demanding, but rewarding career.

But both of my children can learn something from a relative who they didn’t see at the prime in her life. My kids have family members who can help them know Gram as she was. I hope my sisters and I can do this for them. This is a gift my sisters Jen, Kristen, and I can give my kids.

Gram may be gone, but she will not be forgotten. My sisters and I will continue to see her as a source of strength and love. And my children will know about this amazing woman.

Goodbye sweet Gram.

We won’t forget you.

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For Song of the Week, I have to share Don McLean’s American Pie. It is probably not a good song with lyrics about “this will be the day that I die.” I am already nervous flying at a time when standard practice for air traffic controllers is sleeping on the job. However, without exception, I think of my family in Louisiana when I hear “drove my Chevy to the levee.” Heading to New Orleans and Baton Rouge today, this song is perfect.

Happy Friday!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Girlatrockshow April 22, 2011 at 10:06 am

I am sorry to hear this. When I lost my gram it was so hard for me. But grandparents live such amazing lives and it sounds like yours left a huge footprint on your heart. *HUGS* on this emotional day.

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Sarah April 22, 2011 at 10:29 am

I feel the same. I am always sharing how strong, how resourceful the women in our family were. I think it’s important for our children to know that their predecessors worked hard for them, perhaps without even knowing them, that other people have struggled and succeeded.
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Naked Girl in a Dress May 12, 2011 at 9:27 am

There is so much to be learned from those who have come before us. I hope my children continue to learn and be influenced by loved ones who are no longer with us.

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Random Girl April 22, 2011 at 10:29 am

I am so sorry for your lose, love. It sounds like your Gram was an amazing woman and an anchor in your family. I love that your son gave you the perspective to celebrate during this difficult time. Thoughts and prayers with you and your family.
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Dr. Cynicism April 23, 2011 at 7:50 pm

So sorry for your loss. Our thoughts are with you :-)
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Kristen April 25, 2011 at 6:47 pm

I sit here with tears on my cheeks after reading your wonderful blog about Gram. I know she is smiling down on all of us from heaven as Monkey so correctly pointed out. I miss you already and hope to see you soon. Much love always, sister three!

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Naked Girl in a Dress May 12, 2011 at 9:26 am

I love you too Kristen. Help me keep Gram alive in the kids by sharing wonderful stories with them.

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Tasha April 29, 2011 at 2:56 am

So sorry for your loss. But you are right – focus on celebrating her long & courageous life this weekend. XOX

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