This is the last picture taken of me and my Grandma. It was Christmas 07 and there will never ever be another picture of me and my Grandma. She never will get to see (in the flesh anyways) my accomplishment. Kinda takes all the wind out of the sails of hitting the 200lb loss mark.
This picture makes me smile because of the cute grin my Grandma has on her face. That is how I will always picture her....this pic is on my fridge (as you could probably guess from the sun magnet) so I see my Grandma everyday and now I will have more laughing stars because my Grandma will be laughing in some more of them for me as of today.
She passed in her sleep, she never woke up from yesterday so I am going to say for the record books that she passed away on her birthday- it just took a few hours for her to let go....which is a very Grandma thing to do. Did I mention how stubborn she can be?? I suppose slipping into a deep sleep that you never wake up from at 93 years old is more than most of us can hope for and all day today I was telling her in my heart "it's ok, we will be ok...you can let go, we will be ok" because making sure we were ok was what her whole life was about and I am sure that is what kept her holding on for the last few hours...I can hear her actually "I am not going until I know my Tacey Lanny is gonna be ok". I asked her to have the strength to let go and because she is so strong, she did.
No one will ever call me Tacey Lanny (Tracey Luann, you get it) ever again...or sign a card in her beautiful handwriting "Be Good, Behave" or call me her littlest grand-daughter. That was all for her and her alone.
I am sitting here looking at her pins. She loved her costume pins and I must have bought dozens of them for her. I got a bunch when her house was packed up and she went into the nursing home. She always had a pin for every occasion and I picked out some favorites and stuck them on a bulletin board. They make me smile cuz they are so "her".
She wasn't just my Grandma....she was a Foster Grandparent for United School and dozens of kids called her Grandma. She hated just sitting around and worked well into her 80's. She had to stay busy and she loved being around people. She could talk to anyone, anywhere.
We had a thing about angels.
I am not sure how it got started and once it did other people jumped on board and started giving her angels but it started with just us. It may have been when I was driving home when I was living in Chicago and I saw this angel visor clip that was an angel and said "grandchild, please drive safe" and I bought it because I knew my Grandma would want me to have it. She loved it and it has been in my car ever since. I asked her if it was cool with her if I got an angel tattoo for her and she loved the idea. I have it all picked out, I just need to get it done- perhaps when I come home.
My sister called me today and told me she had passed.....I had been expecting the call all day. I had my phone in my hand all morning just waiting. You know when you can feel somethings energy pushing far ahead of the thing itself? The call she had passed was so powerful I felt it hours before the phone rang. Like the universe was bracing me for it.
Then I sprang into "go"mode of putting together a trip home. I had to rapid fire do a check list of what I needed to do for work and what I needed to prep for myself. Ticket, check. Shuttle to airport, check. Get new eyeliner (details), check. Get cash for cab home, check. Do laundry, check. Figure out what to pack (what the hell is the weather back there anyways??)...in progress. So I have done all I can for now and its quiet and I am all alone waiting for a flight to take me home to say goodbye to one the most important people in my life.
I am fighting the growing sense of deja vu....
This is obviously very different than flying home for my brother's funeral and yet that feeling is the same. Powerless, dread, lonely, scared, sad.....and I just want to hug my family and be with them.
I can tell one one thing for CERTAIN....one Troy Harold Herrick had better prepare himself for one GIANT ass kicking because when my Grandma finds him she is gonna rip him a new one!! Poor Troy, I could almost feel sorry for him if he didn't deserve it.
The thing I know my Grandma is most happy about is she is with her daughter Sandy again. Maybe I have no right to feel connected to that but as Sandy's namesake I do. I have always felt that Sandy was my angel and has been watching over me and she sends me little signals. She died when she was 17 and I see 17's all the time. Every time I do I know she is just saying "hi, I am here and I love you". That makes me feel good. I don't know how my Grandma will let me know she is around but I am sure I will recognize her when she does show up- my family does no do subtle.
For now I hope she has a good long rest. She lived a long life and she was there for me in a million ways...she deserves a long rest.
I am so proud to be the Grand-daughter of such a independent, intelligent, funny and caring woman as my Grandma. I hope I can honor her life everyday by living my life MY WAY (another inside joke) just like she lived hers.....
I love you Grandma, you sleep now.....we will be ok.