Thursday, March 1, 2012

She Went Home

To start out this post, I just need to admit that I literally have the most amazing family in the world. Both my parents have lots of siblings; I have five uncles, and seven aunts. And tons of cousins. The best part is that at our wedding, you couldn't tell who was from which side of the family, everyone was dancing and laughing together. This weekend reminded me just how blessed I am to be a part of a family like this, where all 5 of my grandparent's kids jumped on planes to be with my grandpa in the days after my grandma's passing.

My High School Graduation. June 2006

Anger is a funny emotion. It sneaks up even when you don't understand why you are feeling angry. That's kind of where I am with my grieving right now. When I see things around my house that remind me of her, get a sweet text, or a sympathy card in the mail [don't get me wrong -- I so appreciate these] I simply feel anger that I am receiving these. I don't want to have to receive these. I just want my Mana back.

My Mana & Uncle Mark at our wedding. July 2011

My parents were already scheduled to visit us Friday night til Tuesday afternoon. We had plans to hang out at camp and down in San Diego as well. Obviously, things changed and we headed to Yuma bright & early (5 am) Saturday morning. When we drove into the RV Resort that my grandparents live at, it was so painful. We had just spent Thanksgiving down there staying in my grandparents' fifth wheel and I just can't quite swallow the fact that my energetic, seemingly healthy grandmother would not be there, that day or ever again. I still am just grasping to memories, wondering how this could have happened so quickly, missing her so much.

We brought our kittens to Yuma; Thanksgiving, 2011.

I am incredibly blessed that my grandma was so immersed in my life. Although she wasn't one to call often, I always knew that she cared about the details. I am the oldest grandchild on my mom's side, and for some reason this always gave me special privileges. The fact that I always included her in little things helped too. I know my grandma wanted to be a part of all the things in our life, but I don't think she knew how to reach out to us grandkids. Maybe fear of rejection, maybe just uncomfortable. It doesn't matter though. One of my first memories of this was in the 7th grade, my grandparents had come down during Halloween weekend and my mom and grandma came with us trick or treating. I'm an affection girl, always have been; and after 5 or so houses running with my friends, I turned around and gave my Mana a big hug and said, "I'm so glad you came with us!" and ran back up with my friends. The next day Mana could not stop talking about how special that was to her; even though I was having fun with all my friends I still let her know I was so glad she was there too. That's just how I am though. I was 12 then, and ever since, I have made a point to let her know how special she is to me.

Our Wedding, July 2011

At my bachelorette party last spring, some friends and I went wine tasting and then back to my parents' house for gifts and appetizers. [side note, I didn't even know we did gifts at bachelorette parties until my own! score! good thing mine was first, or I'd be really embarrassed when I showed up empty handed to friends'] So we get home and start opening gifts - which, by the way, is very uncomfortable for modest little Katie over here - and when I opened a floral ruffly backless top, my grandma says, in front of all my friends, "OOOH!! Can I borrow that for our cruise?!", and the room exploded with laughter!

Mana & Papa on their 50th anniversary cruise. October 2011.

Looking around my house I just can't stop thinking about her. She loved to spoil me, which is great, but now it is breaking my heart. From ruby earrings, to pink pajama pants & make up brushes, down to the marinade in my fridge, all her little gifts are making it impossible not to think of her. Last summer, I found a sweatshirt at Costco that I had to have. They didn't have my size in purple, so Zach and I were going to check three other Costco's in the area. Mana jumped in the backseat and drove around all afternoon with us, looking for that darn sweatshirt, totally content, just happy to spend time with us. Gosh I miss her already.

I've been told that just by being around us you can tell how close we are. My Mana was a special lady, that's for sure. I honestly considered her a friend, and I don't know how many people feel that way about their grandparents. I love her dearly. I will always love her & I look forward to the day we meet in heaven again. I know she'll be waiting for me with a big hug - arms open wide :)

Now that both my grandmas are in heaven, I've never been prouder to have my middle name. Suzanne Helen & Helen Jane -- I am Katherine Helen. I love my middle name, I wear it like a badge of honor. I pray I become half the woman that both these ladies were.

I love you, Mana. 


Laina said...

Hey girl I'm so sorry to hear this! I have a very close relationship with my grandma too and can't imagine how your feeling. I am praying for you and your family that the lord would give you peace and comfort. I'm so glad you will be with her one day in heaven!!!

Ruthie Hart said...

Hugs and prayers Katie!! How special that your Mana was there for your wedding day, I bet she felt amazing watching her granddaughter get married.

Mels said...

You are so sweet. This post made me cry. What a wonderful tribute to your grandmother. I wish I was there to hug you! Tell my brother to give you a hug on my behalf!!
I miss you guys and love you!

Lauren said...

I think the relationship between a grandparent and grandchild can be difficult sometimes. Easier when you're younger and harder as you get older, especially because our grandparents often don't feel that they should push themselves on us. So, I think a lot of us aren't close to our grandparents as we get older for that reason, we don't make the effort and they don't want to intrude. I have a similar relationship with my Grandma and it breaks my heart all the time because she talks about things we'll do together and always has to add "if I'm still around then". UGH, I hate that, it breaks my heart. I don't want to imagine her not around - so in some ways I completely understand :(

Ash said...

i teared up at this..

sending you hugs, kisses, and lots of love friend (:

Lisa @ MMT said...

Thanks for sharing such special moments with your Mana. I am so sorry for you loss. Sounds like you two had a pretty special relationship. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Leah said...

This is so sad, I've been reading too many blogs about family loss lately and it makes me so sad. I am really close to my grama and am lucky she is still around. I'm not a very affectionate person like you said you are but deep down I really appreciate my family and I don't show them as much as I feel it. This post made me realize I need to do that more while I can before its too late. I am really sorry for your loss.

Jamie said...

I'm continually praying for you. Hang in there, God is there to help you through your grieving and your anger, and it's such a blessing to see how close your family is. She was very lucky to have you as a granddaughter with so much love.

Allison said...

I am so sorry for your loss. What a sweet tribute to your grandma. The picture of your grandparents with your kittens makes my heart happy. Hang in there.