my gran would have been 100 today. seriously. 100. the funny thing is, even if she was still here, she wouldn't have cared about that - the number meant way more to all of us than it ever did to her. she had out-lived almost everyone and her biggest fear was out-living her sons. while she didn't want to miss anything in our lives, she was tired and on february 13th she got to go home. she was an honest believer, rarely missing a sunday in church - sitting for years in her little seat at the end of the choir loft, silently reminding the preacher (by a little tap on her watch) that it was time to wrap it up so people could get to their families and, ultimately, their sunday dinners.
she was patient and kind, humble and wise, the funniest mix of traditional and unconventional, accepting and forgiving, quick and witty, sharp right up to her last few hours. she was always honest, you never had to question where you stood with her; but never did she intentionally hurt anyone - it just wasn't in her nature. she gave us the gift of family, teaching us that the bond of sisters is unmatched and to guard it with everything we have. she was always there, only passing judgement when it was truly warranted, fiercely protecting her little family and passing on memories over fried chicken and chocolate pie.
she witnessed a lot in her lifetime; more than many of us ever will. she was a revolutionary in many ways, inspiring anyone she met, yet quick to remind us that she wasn't "smart" although she could never convince us of that fact.
the only regret i have is the last conversation i had with her...or lack there of that is...those moments went by so quickly, she was tired and breathing was difficult so we didn't want to make her talk anymore than necessary but she wanted so much to tell us things; to remind us of things - mostly how much she loved us and to take care of one another. i felt frozen, knowing full well that she was dying, wanting to say so many things, to absorb all of her words yet finding myself unable to speak. so, the minutes passed and she got to where she couldn't speak at all and i knew my window was gone, that never again would i be able to ask her for advice or look to her for guidance. now, often i find myself wondering what gran would say about things...about my life, about decisions i've made, things i'm questioning, choices i'm facing...and, while most of the time i have a pretty good idea what her take would be, i just wish i could ask her for sure.