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4/01/2008
April Fool's Day Isn't Funny
My grandmother died this morning.

She landed in the hospital a few days ago from a nasty case of pneumonia she just couldn't shake. Her lungs filled up with fluid, and off to the ICU she went. Nonnie was on a respirator and her body just couldn't take any more. I don't know any of the last details right now. I hope that she was asleep and peacefully dreaming.

It's funny how we never see our parents and grandparents as real people until we're adults. Then, we're always surprised to find that they've had lives and experiences we knew nothing about.

When my grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary several years back, I had a clock engraved for them commemorate the event. It ended up being a late gift because I discovered that no one knew my grandparents' real wedding date.

It seems the sly couple had snuck off and gotten married about a month before the real wedding. I was shocked! I couldn't believe my sweet, tiny, white haired grandmother had done such a thing.

When T and I visited a few years ago (pre-baby), I had her drag all the photo albums out and show me people and places I'd never cared to hear about as a child. I was struck by how young and beautiful she was as a new bride. I looked at her happy smile in the photos, and her wistful gaze as we paged through her albums, and I realized something. Oh yes! My grandmother would definitely have snuck off to get married. It made her that much more interesting and special.

Over the last few years, as H&H came along and I got caught up in work and my life, I haven't been as good about calling Nonnie or sending her photos. A few years ago she and Poppy got internet access, so I know she saw pictures of the boys on a regular basis. But still, I know how much she loved to get my all too infrequent calls.

My father was already on his way to Louisiana when we got the news this morning. I've been calmly making arrangements to fly down on Thursday and I was amazed at how well I was holding it together, despite the loss of my sweet, sweet Nonnie.

The damn broke this afternoon when I read a post by Amie at Mamma Loves about her grandmother and why she always told Amie she loved her. The long and short of it is, we never know if we're going to get the chance to say "I love you" one last time. So we should say it as often as we can.

I didn't get the chance to tell my Nonnie "I love you" one last time.

So I guess this is my chance. If there is a God, a heaven, or an afterlife, I'm sure Nonnie knows how much I loved her. How I wish I'd been able to see her more often. How I wish I'd stepped out of my life for a moment and called her more often.

How I wish she'd had the chance to meet Holden and to see H&H together. As the mother of three boys, I know she would have loved that. I know she would have loved to watch me, her only granddaughter, in my new role as mom to two boys. She often joked about how if I tried for a girl, I would definitely have three boys. That's exactly what happened to her!

I'll wallow in regret for today, but then I'll try not to do so. I'll try to live my life and remember her every day. I'll remember her patience with me and the way she would play card game after card game with me, endlessly, when I was little. I'll remember how she would whisper in my ear, "Let's go Visa Poppy," and whisk me off for some clandestine shopping. I'll remember her hugs and her soft Southern drawl.

I'll remember her perfume.

I love you, Nonnie. I'll miss you so much.

Stephie

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49 Comments:

Blogger Tara said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Blogger Nancy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss and the pain you feel today.

I hope your tomorrows will be filled with the memories she had created with you as a little girl.

(((Hugs)))

Blogger emily said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

Blogger ALM said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Blogger M&Co. said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

Blogger Mamma said...

Oh honey! Your nonnie loved you and she knew how much you loved her. She was a mom to little boys too and she knew how crazy life is.

I hope you will find time to revel in her life while you are with your family this week.

I send hugs and casseroles to you all.

love,
amie

Blogger Mrs. Chicken said...

I'm so sorry, Stephanie. Peace be with you and your family at this hard, hard time.

Blogger Busy Momma said...

Big hugs honey, what a hard day. I'll be thinking of you and your family.

Blogger Velma said...

I'm so sorry. I've lost my grandmothers, and I miss them still, but I talk to my kids about them and share stories and it helps.

Blogger PunditMom said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. It's amazing how special grandmothers can be, isn't it?

Anonymous Nancy said...

Oh Steph, I am so sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

((hugs))

Blogger Stimey said...

I'm so sorry. She sounds like a wonderful woman.

Blogger Life As I Know It said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. That was a lovely post for your grandmother.

Blogger NotSoSage said...

I'm so sorry, LM. I have to believe that the feelings you've shared here either were or will be evident to your Nonnie, wherever she may be.

She sounds like a very cool woman.

Oh Sweetie! Crap on a crap cracker.

Victor's dearest granddad died a year ago today and we're mourning him again. You never get the chance to say one last goodbye but I promise you that she knew it even if you had never said it. She knew it from you tone, from your care and from wanting to now about her. She knew.

Big hugs, sweet friend.

Blogger flutter said...

I hope she rests well. You too, love

Blogger Mayberry said...

I'm so sorry. My kids have a "Nonnie" too (my husband's grandmother) and she's so lovely.

I know yours knows how special you think she is.

Blogger NotAMeanGirl said...

I'm so sorry hon. I lost my grandmother March 14th. I know all too well how you feel. Peace to you and yours.

Blogger Chicky Chicky Baby said...

Oh hon, I am so sorry. Having lost three grandparents in three years I can understand your pain.

Now i know why you wanted to sneak vodka in your suitcase.

Blogger jen said...

oh sister...i'm so sorry for you and your loss and your heart.

Blogger Joker The Lurcher said...

so sad to hear your news.

Blogger Lady M said...

I'm so sorry to hear your news. Wishing you and your family all the best.

Anonymous Mme. Meow said...

Very moving post, Steph-- a fitting homage to your wonderful grandmother.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. And yes, there is a God and Nonnie is enjoying the wonderful life He has for her.

Blogger andrea_frets said...

I'm very sorry about your loss. Peace be with your family and this was an excellent post for your Nonnie.

Blogger Jen M. said...

I am sorry for your loss - life seems so short, doesn't it?

Have a wonderful day, full of healing and introspection.

OpenID toddlerplanet said...

Oh, Stephanie, I'm so sorry to hear this.

What a lovely tribute to your Nonnie. She sounds like a really great woman!

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Blogger Amy said...

Sorry to hear about your Nonnie...I'm glad you got the chance to sit with her and hear her stories...that's the one thing I regret regarding my g-ma...

Praying for you and the family today!
Amy~

Blogger Defiantmuse said...

omg, Steph. my mom just called and told me. I'm so sorry :( I'm thinking of you and love you. Send my love to your dad too. xo

Blogger DD said...

My sincerest sympathies, my dear. I don't remember my grandparents, but I do try to remember that my parents, and my husband's parents were like us one time: young and full of "make the world better" ideas and we just need to stop and listen.

Anonymous Angela said...

Girl........the YEAR you have had. I'm so sorry.

Anonymous Angela said...

Girl........the YEAR you have had. I'm so sorry.

Blogger Mary G said...

Sending you virtual hugs. And what a beautiful post about her.

Blogger Organized Chaos said...

My heart just went out to you when I read your post. But it was very moving and inspirational.

Blogger Defiantmuse said...

the one vivid memory I have of your Nonnie was when she gave me a piece of soap in the shape of Paddington bear. I loved and cherished that soap and it sat on the back of my toilet although my mother would never let me use it because I had "sensitive skin".

Anonymous sam said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

*hugs*

Blogger Venus said...

hugs. I'm very sorry for your loss

Blogger PDX Mama said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. Many hugs to you and your family.

Steph,
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your sweet grandmother.

I believe there is a God and a Heaven....and I am sure your Nonnie is smiling down at you from there!

If you need to talk....

Blogger Paige said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I understand what you're going through as I just lost my father, after finally getting the chance and taking the time to see him in a new light.

Your Nonnie knew you loved her. Wrap yourself in that and the memory of her perfume.

XO,
Paige

Blogger slouching mom said...

LM. I'm very sorry.

xo

Blogger Lady Liberal said...

Fare forward, Nonnie!
The women who love your granddaughter salute you!
L.

Blogger ~Joe said...

Hello, I'm momtographer from flickr,I just wanted to say I'm sorry for your loss. ((hugs))

Blogger Bon said...

i'm late to this, Stephanie...just wanted to say i'm so sorry.

Blogger lildb said...

I'm so sorry, honey.

(((((((Steph))))))

OpenID bipolarlawyercook said...

I'm sorry to hear about her passing. Thinking of you, and sorry I'm late with my condolences.

OpenID wheelsonthebus said...

What is amazing is that there is such love possible, though. That you had that together. And can see it down the generations. I am sorry for your loss and touched at the love you had between you.

Looking simply super, keep it up

regards
web designer

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