I overheard Tony tell his Dad, "We lost Grandma Sue." What a funny way to say it. It doesn't seem very permanent. The lost are often found. I can't bear to say it in any of the usual ways myself.
I love that woman. She's my person. We didn't have to warm up with small talk. We could just jump into what was really on our minds.
Our story is complicated, but she loved Tony and she loved me and even in the weirdest moments of in-law drama, I never doubted that. Nadia asks us to tell her stories of Grandma Sue. It is easy to come up with them. They all show examples of love and strength and mothering of those around her. I want to remember them all because I want her to be an example to Aidan and Nadia like she was for us. I want my kids to know that a little bit of spoiling is good for the spoil-ee, as well as the spoil-er. The gesture doesn't have to be as grand as dropping everything to pick up a three-year-old and make him fried chicken for breakfast, but can be simply wiping the rain from someone's headlights before they leave, shows them that you love them. But Grandma did them all, large and small. I hope they learn too, that the lesson doesn't end there. I think it ends with gratitude. Being thankful and appreciative of the little things, like teaching you to make chicken & noodles in your pajamas at 3 in the afternoon, and of the big things, like giving you a place and a purpose in the family.
Grandma shaped Tony. She taught him to appreciate his loved ones. What a gift that woman was! Equal parts sass and heart. I feel her missing from me, from us, but know that she is with Pop. They shared a love that makes you ache to think of one without the other. It brings peace and happiness to know they are back together.