Friday, July 18, 2008

Grandma Ruby

I haven't blogged for an eternity (well more accurately, about 5 months) and I couldn't remember the web address, so I checked Sue's blog where I knew there was a link to my delinquent blog. I was feeling inspired to blog about my grandma, she died yesterday at the ripe old age of 96. Low and behold, Sue's blog was all about her 2 grandmas.
After my grandpa died (I think he was 92, or maybe 94) Grandma Ruby lived by herself for awhile and then eventually transitioned in to assisted living, where she broke her hip and ended up in the nursing home where she has been for the last 3+ years. She was a spicy woman and even in her old age and deteriorating health, she still had a sense of humor and a wit about her. I didn't know my grandma all that well, despite her living in the same town for most of my life, and being only blocks away from where I live. We were never what you would call close. When I named my daughter after her, she said "Well, you must like me somewhat if you'd name your daughter after me." You always knew where you stand with her, she'd tell you if she didn't like your haircut, or if she did. She was honest, sometimes painfully, but I respect and appreciate honesty in anyone. I'd much rather hear the truth that wonder what someone really thinks.
I wasn't sure how to approach her death with my Ruby - at 3 1/2 you don't necessarily know how to process such a think, but I figured honesty was the best approach and went with it. Here is the conversation...
me: Ruby, I need to tell you something. Grandma Ruby died this morning.
Ruby: That's really sad, Mama.
me: It is sad, honey.
Ruby: You know what, Mom. It's okay, she's with God now.
I then gave her some version if you need to talk about this more....blah blah blah and she said "Don't worry mom, I'm not sad. I am just missing her."
She's an amazing little being, that Ruby. Also sort of serendipitous, this week at yoga I read a poem titled "When Death Comes" by Mary Oliver. If you haven't read it, it's worth finding and reading. It talks about how she wants to have lived her life when it's over, taking in all the preciousness of our time here and living with a spirit of curiosity and wonder, not simply visiting the earth. A good reminder to take time to notice all that surrounds you, to know the hearts of those you love and to be present in every moment have.