My beautiful, wonderful grandmother died last weekend. She was, in the end, in a sort of cancer existence. The illness was eating her inside. She lost her ability to speak to others. She lost her ability to walk. She lost the ability to hold up her body. She lost her ability to eat food with texture. Being so helpless, she was graced with caretakers who were kind, hard-working, and loving. She was blessed with steady visits from family, who never resented the extra work.
I was observing this in my usual way. Relatives visited her often. She did the best she could to still be loving. I watched my mom sit near her bed and hold her hand. My grandmother swung their hands. She smiled, and smiled, and smiled.
Who wants to smile in her situation? She smiled to be encouraging to her visitors who showed calmness on the outside. She smiled, too, because she saw how devoted her children, and grandchildren were. She was not alone.
My grandmother had a lot of alone in her life. An orphaned child sent to a strange land, she had to endure a lot. Why is it that despite her hard life she smiled, and laughed, and courageously faced her challenges? I see many people who face less and complain constantly. My beautiful grandmother chose to give life her all and not waste it in self pity. Her legacy speaks for itself. She smiled until she couldn’t anymore.
Now she is with God and I hope her parents are happy to embrace her once again. Their souls are reunited, and I am happy they are.
Rest in peace, my lovely, wonderful Oma. I love you.