I’m back.

Hi everyone. I’m back from Ohio.

So many of you have asked that I thought I’d post an update here on the blog: my Grandma passed away on Sunday, March 20th after a painful battle with pancreatic cancer. Thankfully it was a short battle. And thankfully I got to see her and talk to her, and tell her how much she meant to me one last time.

(J took this photo of Grandma and I in her kitchen back in November. I cried when we left, wondering if that was the last time I’d see her. Turns out that it wasn’t. But this is the last photo I have of her and I together.)

I sat with her for hours and hours at the hospice house, along with my Dad, uncle and sister. So very thankful for the care that they gave her. (And thankful that we could all be there for her. And for everyone who stopped by.)

They say that tragedy comes in 3’s and that’s what it felt like to me: my step-mom’s Dad passed away the day before Grandma. I felt so bad for my Dad — he tried to be in two places at once.

The third tragedy was the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I’ll never forget watching everything unfold while I was at the hospice house. It turns out that our friends in Japan are all safe. (Does anyone have anything craft-related to raise money for Japan? Please let me know.)

I don’t want to focus on all the tragedies, though.

My Grandma was very special to me, she was like my mom. One time when I was sitting with her I told her all the things that that I learned from her — some of them really made me smile, so I thought I’d share them with you too.

  • Try a little bite of a new food, even if you think you won’t like it. (I can’t tell you how many new foods I’ve discovered this way. Including cornbread! Yum.)
  • Take your vitamins.
  • No matter what you do, always do your best. Even if things don’t work out the way that you want you’ll know you did all you could.
  • Vick’s VapoRub fixes every cold. (Although whenever Grandma tried to put some on me I’d run screaming into the bathroom and lock the door. Ha!)
  • Don’t work too much.
  • Talking over a nice cup of tea is a great way to end the day. (J and I still do this.)
  • We all live under the same moon. (When I’d look up at the moon I’d know that she was seeing the same one. I’d feel connected to her, even though I was in Texas and she was in Ohio.)

Grandma also taught me how to sew, and be crafty, and cook. And I’ll never forget sitting on the porch with her in the cool summer evenings watching the rabbits play.

Grandma and I used to send each other hugs over the phone — I don’t remember how it got started. We’d wrap our arms around ourselves and think happy thoughts and I swear you could feel the hug come through.

Hugs to you Grandma. And give one to Grandpa and Debby’s Dad, too.

And HUGE hugs to all of you. (Libby brought me a whole bunch of cards today, I haven’t opened them just yet. But seeing the pile really made me smile. Thanks so much.)

47 Replies to “I’m back.”

  1. I’m very sorry for your loss, Lisa. Your grandmother sounds like a gem of a woman. I’m sure that her absence from this world will be felt. How grateful you must be to have had a connection with her that death cannot sever. I’ll be thinking of you and your family during this time when the loss of her will be felt most keenly.

  2. Sending you hugs. I am so very sorry for your loss. How truly blessed you were to have her in your life and to be able to spend time with her at the end of her journey. Thank you for sharing the story of your grandma, she lives on in you. Love, r

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss, Lisa. I’m so glad you shared the picture of you. What a beautiful lady. I’m sure you will treasure it.

  4. Hi Lisa,
    I am so sorry for your loss. How wonderful that you were able to be with her for the last time. It’s so amazing all the things we learn from our grandparents as we are growing up. Thinking about you and sending you some hugs!

  5. barbara lassiter says:

    Hugs to you on the loss of your grandmother. I had a special relationship with mine also and it has been a joy for me all my life. I was just sharing something I learned from my grandmother with my daughter over the weekend. I cherish all the memories and think you will feel the same. Blessings to you!

  6. I’m so sorry for your loss. The picture of you and your grandma is beautiful. Treasure it and all of those wonderful memories.

  7. HI Lisa, I am sorry that you had to experience the passing of your special and adorable grandmother. I enjoyed hearing your memories of her and all the great advice and teachings that she gave you. Sending healing hugs and prayers to you and your family…especially your dad.
    Hugs, Kathy
    Loved the photo

  8. Judy(moonlightgreetings) says:

    Lisa, so sorry for your loss. You and your grandmother had a special relationship and that
    love will be with you always. I loved hearing what you learned from her and the way
    your love traveled through the phone lines in the form of a hug.

  9. Virginia L. says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your grandma, Lisa. Indeed, grandma knows BEST! I LOVE all of her wise and fun advice!! Sending hugs to you in this difficult time. I’m so glad that you find the silver lining in the midst of this. Yes, the world feels so much warmer and brighter when we are all under the same moon.
    My blog friend Eve told me about this crafty fund-raising event for Japan. http://useittuesday.blogspot.com/2011/03/challenge-4.html

  10. Lisa, I am so, so sorry for your loss. I am all choked up over here. Losing my paternal grandmother was one of the hardest things I have ever gone through. I understand the sadness and loss you feel. Mine was there for me all the time. More than my own mother.

    She will always be there with you. Every time you look at the moon or have a cup of tea….she’ll be there.

    HUGS. I am thinking of you.

  11. Beverly LoPinto says:

    Dear Lisa,

    I’m very sorry for your loss. How fortunate for you that you had such a close relationship with your grandma and so many wonderful and meaningful memories of time spent with her. Just think–every time you have tea you’ll think of her. Sending you a hug over the internet :-)

  12. Hi Lisa, I love your post today. It’s all the stuff I felt when I lost my grandma 2 years ago. My grandma said the same thing about vicks vaporub except she said it fixes everything! not just a cold. :) Sorry for your loss. I’m glad the cards made you smile. Can’t wait for you to open them. Sending you lots of hugs. Sincerely, Anthonette

  13. Oh Lisa, I’m sorry for yer loss. Your grandma sounds sweet and wonderful, like all grandmas should be. I can’t begin to tell you how much I miss mine, unfortunately, I wasn’t there to see her one last time, so I’m glad you did, and that you got to tell her how much she meant to you, I’m sure she loved that. Mine will always hold a very special place in my heart, like yours, mine taught me how to sew (she’d let me cut out fabric from her old and frayed clothes so that I can make my barbie dolls …) and how to cook rice, it was wonderful, she was wonderful! It’s grandma alright ….

    C :)

  14. Lisa I’m so sorry for your loss but so glad you got to spend some quality time with your Grandma. You and she look SO much alike in that photo!! I’m sure you’ve got some of her inside you, so know she’ll be with you always (and you’re both still looking at the same moon, maybe just from different sides?)

    I hope you can find some comfort in the friends you have here online and know that we’re all sending you hugs over the internet and we’re squeezin’ you tight :)

    take care of yourself and try to remember your (smart!) nanna the way she would have wanted, happy, vibrant, sassy (I’m sure!) and chasing you around with a jar of Vicks :) ( I have to agree by the way, it really is amazing stuff!)

    sending you love
    Linda xoxoxo

  15. reading the fond memories you have of your grandmother, i wish i knew my grandma more…it’s hard when you live in different countries.
    glad to hear you had the chance to spend some time with her before she passed away.

  16. thinking of you Lisa. so sorry for your loss.
    so happy that you got to tell your Grandma how very special she was to you Im sure it made her very happy knowing she had played a part in the beautiful sweet kind woman you grew to be.
    big hugs

  17. love the sweet photo of you and your grand mom. i am so sorry for your loss, Lisa. it is such a wonderful relationship that you had with her. the bounding is so touching. thanks for sharing the things that you learn from her. my grand mom was a very important part of my childhood. in fact, all the sweet memories that i have for my childhood was with her. not that my parents are bad, my grand mom was just very special to me. i would be crying so hard if i were to type a post like this even though she passed away more than 15 years ago. =) thanks for sharing, LIsa. sending you big hugs.

  18. Oh Lisa, so sorry for your loss…this is such a sweet post about your grandmother…really loved reading your list about what you learned from her…such a neat tribute to your very special grandmother…

  19. I am so sorry for your loss… I lost my mother-in-law to pancreatic cancer too. I love your grandma’s wisdom in “we all live under the same moon”. It’s quite humbling and so true while tying all of humanity together in a simple phrase. BIG hugs to you.

  20. Lisa, so sorry for your loss. Hugs to you – your post full of wonderful memories is beautiful and I adore the photo of the two of you together in November. Love the list… vaporub….. I am still laughing at that piece, a belief in our house too when I was growing up. Thanks for sharing, Hugs to you. Deirdre

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