Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Grandmother

I have really been blessed in my life to be able to have both my grandmothers in my life for nearly half a century. Last December, I lost my 99-year old grandmother. On Tuesday, I lost my 91-year old grandmother. I called her Granny.

She had an amazing sense of humor and even when she became really frail in the last six months of her life -- she never lost her ability to make people laugh. Even though she was often in tremendous pain -- laughing seemed to make her forget about it -- even if for a few moments. We always traded jokes.

When I was home in North Carolina for a few weeks in December and January, I got to spend a lot of time with Granny. We laughed and sometimes we cried because we both knew that we probably wouldn't get to see each other again. It was difficult to say goodbye that cold day in January when I climbed on a plane to return to Timor-Leste.

Thanks to Skype, I was able to call her almost every day, once I got back to TL.

I spoke to Granny yesterday -- one final time. My mom held the phone to her ear and I told her that I loved her. I am not sure she could hear me through the fog of the morphine drip that doctors had been administering for the past few days to ease her pain. When my mom came back on the phone line -- she told me that my grandma had passed away as I was saying goodbye.

What I will miss most about my grandma besides our many games of hearts, laughing and joking together and just being in each others presence -- is our daily phone conversations. We chatted a few minutes each morning before I went to work -- she would almost always begin with "and where are you today, honey?"

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