A final farewell to my grandmother

Well I feel like I can breathe, that I can move forward. We had my grandmother's celebration of life last week and I know she would have been proud of myself. I prepared a speech and I actually got through it - I cried a lot and I might have read word for word but I did it.

Here it goes....

Grandma and Ma is how I will always remember her.

There are 5 stages of grief of loss and I am going to embrace each one and move forward because if there is one thing I took from my grandma is move forward nothing will hold me down for long and let’s be real here I am a check box kind of girl – check check check.

Denial - I avoided her age, the fact that she was getting older, I still can't believe she will not call or email me again. DENIAL - CHECK

Anger - I am so pissed. Why her? Why my grandma? I only had one grandma? ANGER - CHECK

Bargaining - if only I spent more time with her, if only I didn't go on vacation, if only I paid closer attention to the signs? Maybe I could have seen the heart problem, maybe I should have gone to all the doctor appointments, and maybe I could have asked that question that could have saved her. BARGAINING - CHECK

Depression – For me on this it is admitting that I do miss her that I am mourning her loss.  DEPRESSION - CHECK

Acceptance - this will take me a while. I can accept in my head that she is gone but not my heart or the feeling when I pick up the phone to call her or how I still reference it as going to grandma’s house. I cry over songs, I cry thinking about her.

However, just Monday night after having dinner with my mom, brother and our families I started to cry watching the slide show and then emotions kept coming. When did I last hear her voice - I couldn't remember and my brother played a voicemail she left him and I was so relieved to be able to hear her voice - so brother never erase that voicemail and grandpa never change the answering machine message because I will always have a way to hear her voice.


Well with my brother and I crying my little girl came up and wrapped her arms around us and said grandma is okay she is in heaven. That let me be at rest until we got into the car ride home and the song “Baby has her blue jeans on” came on and I just started crying all over again. That is when my daughter said mom you don't have to cry because we need angels to watch over us and Grandma Wanda is in heaven and is doing that right now - well geez if my little girl can be the voice of reason I think I need to listen!

So with that I need ACCEPT: for my grandma, for my little girl, for my mother and especially for myself because I want to remember as much as I can of her and cherish the memories we had with her.

I love her because she was strong.

I love her because she was country.

I love her stroganoff.

I love her sewing ability.

I love her love of reading that was passed down to me and my daughter.

I love her no bullshit attitude.

I love that she didn’t have to curse for her point to be heard.

I will always remember grandma’s kitchen on desert riding trips.

I remember being about 4 year’s old sitting in the front seat of their little yellow datsun truck between my grandma and grandpa off to clean pools.

I can remember going on the route with just my grandma to one of the last stops and I fell in. I was scared I would get in trouble and then my grandma started laughing and said hey while you are in their can you get that spot. And then I wanted to clean every pool from inside it.

To this day my husband and I have this pool business and sorry to tell you honey but now we are never getting rid of it!

I can remember living in grandma’s swimming pool. I learned how to swim very quickly – not because I was a natural swimmer but because my grandma’s poor arms were so tired from me having her stay in the pool and go swish swish – which was my idea of swimming! I use to say more MA more MA. She most have spent HOURS upon hours in the pool with me. But man when I finally learned how to – they would sit in the back room with the screen open and just ask if I was okay every so often!


I will always remember farm life with grandma. We raised chickens, pigs, sheep, goats, horses, beef cattle and even red worms. Yes red worms. We raised red worms and sold them to the local bait shops. We made a killing for a while – I even did an entire business plan in college based upon the red worm business.


I will always remember her strong work ethic – I watched her get up early feed animals, throw bales of hay, help with the pool business and still come in to cook and bake.


I will always remember how modest she was EXCEPT one time. I remember being in the house and I start to hear screaming. I run out the back of the house and her comes grandma yelling and running from the back and as she gets closer she is stripping of her clothes. While fixing the chicken coop she ran into a very mad hive of wasps and they were all over her and grandma HATED wasps.


I will always remember that she never liked to be a burden to anyone even her final moments before she left Earth she didn’t let the family be burden by her passing. She made her life decision plans heard; the cremation paid for and even the bills all in order for me to take over for her.


She believed in being strong and working hard – and I take that type of life to heart.

As I think about her I know she has created a strong legacy family line to continue on: she had two daughters, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren to continue on with country music, horses, sweet n low usage, brewed ice tea, taquitos, sewing, stroganoff, baking, mulligan stew, pies and the ability to stay strong and keep going.


Grandma I love you so much and we will all be fine!


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