This one hurts. A lot.
When my mom was pregnant with me, she asked my great uncle to be my “grandpa” because she was sad that, because she lost her father years prior, I would only have one grandfather. Of course, Grandpa’s wife is Grandma, and thus began one of the most important relationships of my life.
Grandma Elaine and Grandpa Kenny lived right around the corner from us, a nine minute walk away, and we took advantage of the distance often. We were are their house probably twice a week, sometimes more. We spent many many hours over a pot of tea and a plate of cookies, chatting about life. Grandma was also mine and Emily’s first caretaker – she babysat us both for the entire first year of our lives so that Mom wouldn’t have to put us directly into daycare.
As I grew up, Grandma and I spent lots of time on the dog rescue circuit – running them from shelter to shelter, delivering donated food to foster homes, rescuing them from questionable situations, showing them on Fox 8 with Dick Goddard, and placing surrendered and fostered animals with new homes. When she and Grandpa moved to Ocala, Florida in 1996, it really rocked my world for a lot of reasons…but really my heart just ached for these two people who I loved so deeply and were now so far away.
They lived in Florida until Grandpa’s death in 2015, when Grandma sold everything and relocated back to Canton to live with her sister, my Grandma Cox. For me, it was like a second chance. She was at family gatherings again, she was there for the birth of my babies (who call her GG), and my heart that broke in 1996 was a little less broken. “The Grandmas” took care of each other and supported each other (and bickered with each other 😑) for the last few years, through COVID, and through lots of health crises. When Grandma Cox passed in October, I knew Grandma Elaine wouldn’t be far behind and unfortunately, I was right. She passed early Friday morning and with that, broke my heart again.
I’m thankful that she and I got to have a proper goodbye and that we both understood how important we were to each other. As she liked to say, Emmy and I weren’t hers on paper, but we always were in her heart.
Grandma, thank you for everything that you have done for me, for everything that you’ve been for me, and for being my person. Thank you for choosing us.