Sunday, March 14, 2010

Missing Gramma


I am home from my gramma's funeral. For the funeral I was in California with my entire family, and it was both wonderful and sad. We spent time going through her music, books, clothes, jewelry, dishes, and the like. It was very strange, but so meaningful to be able to take pieces of her home with me. I loved that we all got something that was special to each of us. I also found the white ceramic rabbit that my gramma had said reminded her of me, ever since I can remember. The most wonderful part was that she had written "K (heart) Gramma" on the underneath. As I unpacked a few hours ago and placed it on my dresser, I felt a distinct realization that she is really gone. I keep thinking I can call her, or that I will hear her shoes clicking on the hardwood floor at her house as she walks out of the hallway.

We got to see her one last time at the viewing, where she didn't look quite like herself. I think the body alone literally looks like it is missing half of itself when the soul is gone. I am trying to feel lucky and grateful that she went peacefully in her sleep, and in her silk pajamas!, and that she lived a full life.

During the service I was able to play an easy Bach piece from the Well-Tempered Clavier that I remember also playing on my gramma's piano approximately one billion times in the course of growing up there. Each grandchild got to share a memory, and it was such a beautiful tribute to her life.

Then, we all went back to the house and gathered our things. We hugged and took our keepsakes home. I spent time taking pictures of the eucalyptus trees, the creek, the weeping willow, the house numbers, the piano, the yard, and even the handles on the kitchen cupboards. My grandpa is going to go and live with my mom, and then the house will be sold. I am at peace with what has happened, but I am still aching with the newness of this change.

In the meantime, I keep looking at that ceramic rabbit and tearing up with the realization that it is at MY house now. It no longer resides on the white counter-top in San Jose as I come back to visit and Gramma tells me again "you know, this has always reminded me of you".

I will think of Gramma every time I see that rabbit. Every time I wear the red flats I found in her closet after she passed on. Every time I see that second edition of Mormon Doctrine on my shelf, with her highlighted passages. Every time I watch The In-Laws, or Frasier, or Hook, or My Blue Heaven, or Mary Poppins, or Fox News (ha!). Every time I see a Saks 5th Ave., or Nordstrom, or Macy's. Every time I see silk pajamas or pearls or Cadillacs. Every time there is an Easter egg hunt outside in the trees. Every time I get a back-scratch. Every time I see eucalyptus trees. Every time I use one of her ice cream bowls with the silver edging. Every time I think of the piano, especially Fur Elise of The Spinning Song. Every time I see an organ, or play an organ. Every time someone mentions My Turn on Earth. Every time I use the Dutson Family Directory to find a phone number. Every time I think of E's health problems and how much she cared about the details, never tiring of me talking about it. Every time I stay up late to get things done. Every time I see a garnet ring set in gold. Every time I believe that I am smart because she told me so. Every time I cannot shut up about something I feel passionate about, and I wonder where the genes come from :D.

And every time I get to St. George and go visit her grave, so that I can put flowers on it just like I used to put flowers on her baby's grave here in Arizona any time I could get there. I miss you, Gramma, but you are alive in me. I am happy to find parts of you not only in the things I brought home from your house, but in my being.

10 comments:

EmilyCC said...

a beautiful tribute, my friend!

Lani said...

My condolences. I'm glad you're able to have something special to remember her.

GG said...

beautiful :)

Lauren Green said...

That is just beautiful. Thank you for writing this K. Gramma will be sorely missed, but I am happy to know that we all have so many fond memories of her and that her passing brought us all a little closer together. Love you :)

McDonalds said...

You made me cry--in a good way. You made me remember how deeply I love my grandmas. Thank you.

Brittany said...

That was a beautiful and thoughtful tribute. It made me sad imagining her home in San Jose and her organ, the trees, etc. It sounds so peaceful how she went in her sleep. I love that you'll always have that rabbit and many other ways to remember her by.

Paul, Kami and Henry said...

I loved everything you said. I'm glad I got to see you for a few days. Let's not be strangers.

Jord said...

I am so sorry for you Kendahl, but think from what you wrote that you Grandma is one amazing lady and lucky to have you as her posterity.

Kristi said...

Kendahl, I love you! I love this beautifully written tribute. Thank you for sharing. :)

Nicole said...

You wrote it perfectly! I smiled through your entire list of memories. So many things that will also remind me of Gramma that I haven't thought about yet.

Thank you!