I lost my Grandma on July 25th, 2006. This past Sunday would have been her 80th birthday.
It's been almost two years since I got the call that she was gone, and I still miss her like crazy. Something that never fails to get me every time, something that has actually caught me off-guard by just how much it gets me, is when I watch a show on HGTV or the like where they're updating a home that hasn't been redecorated in 30 some-odd years. Inevitably, there are so many things about those houses that remind me of Grandma's house, and I wind up a blubbering mess all over again. I know in my heart that these houses need to be brought into the 21st century, but it's so much harder than I ever would have thought to see people walking through the house, critiquing every little thing. To be fair, if I was walking though a house I was looking to purchase I'd probably say some of the same things, but it's different. It's my Grandma's house. I lived there - on and off - for a total of 7 or 8 years. That house is the only tangible thing that was a constant in my life from the day I was born - and all I can think of is those same people talking about it like it doesn't mean anything to anyone. And it hurts.
The worst was an episode of Buy Me where a woman had just lost her mother and had to prepare the family home for sale. That one was particularly hard for me, as the mother had the same exact bedroom furniture. One glimpse of that old Ethan Allen headboard - the bed where Grandma used to read to me from Grimm's Fairy Tales, the bed Grandma laid when I took care of her after quintuple bypass surgery, the bed that had been hers for the better part of 30 years - and I was quite the vision in shakes and sobs.
We may be dysfunctional, but don't ever try to tell me I'm not close to that side of my family.
The only picture I can find that combines "Grandma" and "birthday" wasn't taken on any of the 78 birthdays she had on earth, rather a picture taken of the two of us on my first birthday. I figure it's appropriate since I would never have had a birthday if she hadn't had any herself. And the decor in the picture? Pretty much exactly the same the day she died as it was on the day this picture was taken in 1977.
Happy Birthday, Grandma. I miss you so much it hurts, and I always will.
Love, your Kathleenie Beenie