Today, about 2 p.m., my Grandma Kay passed away. She's lived a full life, a sometimes hard, but good life. I don't think you ever saw her, EVER without a smile on her face. At least I didn't.
My "real" grandma, who was also an incredible woman and dearly loved, died when I was 14. I don't think I'll ever forget that morning when my mom heard me get up from school and came downstairs to tell me.
Not even two years later, my grandpa remarried. With all the self-absorption and selfishness of a teenager, I was angry. How could he do that? How could he "forget" grandma? I shoved aside the memory of him in the months following her death, lost, lonely, aching.
Then I met Grandma Kay. So different from my grandma, and yet, so very wonderful. She would tease Grandpa out of a bad mood. She'd laugh and hold his hand. And I saw a spark of life come back to him.
Because of her, Grandpa lived 20 years more. I don't think he would have lasted another year without her. And my younger sisters knew him, and my children knew him. She's the only Grandma Brown they really remember.
A gentle soul, always quick to see the good, even when things were hard. I remember visiting one time on our way up from California, and one of my girls asked me, "Is she your real grandma?" I don't know if they'd heard me mention that my grandma had died, or why they even wondered. But they asked, with her sitting right there.
I looked at her and smiled, and asked my girls, "Is she married to my grandpa?"
"Well, I guess that makes her my grandma." And yeah, she was, and she is. And I miss her.
I hope you're having a grand party in heaven, Grandma Kay. Give Grandpa and Grandma Brown a hug from me. I know you and Grandma are going to get along great. Tell everyone else hi for me. I love you.