Monday, June 11, 2007

Dear Farmor

I"ve written too many of these letters this year. Knowing this one was coming and actually having to write it are two different things. Maybe I should have anticipated it. All weekend, black movements out of the corners of my eyes have been startling me, gone when I turn to face them. The enjoyable conversation I had with Mom Sunday morning started with me being sure she was calling me to tell me you had passed. I was just a little early, I suppose.

I shouldn't be sad. You were the matriarch of a large family who loved you well. You lived independantly for a very long time, even when you started losing your sight and your mobility. Your age and the changes to your body did not stop you from enjoying life, as you found new ways to make the most of each day. You were 93, and passed away the day before you were to be moved to long-term care. You were ready to move on, even if the rest of us weren't ready for you to go. There should be no sadness, but there is.

It struck me this morning that you gave to my family a gift when you died. We, who were always the last to know if anything was wrong, were the first to know of your passing, simply because of when you chose to leave us. It is a small thing, maybe, but I thank you for it.

I thank you for your good humour, your full-faced smile, your laugh, your leading your children in song and ignoring that they are pretty much all tone-deaf. I thank you for my father, and his siblings, who all grew up in love and have passed that on to their own families. You had the biggest heart of anyone I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I can only strive to be half the person you were.

You are at rest now, but I am still trying not to say goodbye. I have had to say goodbye to all my grandparents this year, and others. There is finality to this kind of goodbye that wears on me, and I am trying to put off this one because of that. You are the last grandparent. With you gone, my mother and father are the oldest generation, and that is a difficult switch to happen in my head. You are also the last grandparent that Mike will never meet. He will never experience your heart or your welcoming or your quiet strength. But I know to hold on to you for my own reasons is just selfish, and I mustn't be that. So rest well, Farmor. I will miss you, but you lived your life well, and the rest is well deserved. Goodbye.

Love, Vanessa

2 comments:

mom

Thank you, Vanessa.

Gillian

I'm so sorry, Vanessa. My love to your family right now, I know it's been a very hard year. You're in my thoughts.

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