Monday, May 29, 2017

Grams: A Life Well-Lived!

Today would've been Grams' 100th birthday. If only she'd just stuck around just two more years -- but even that wouldn't have been enough; we would've wanted more. She was such a powerful presence in the lives of all who knew her that we never imagined a time when she wouldn't be here. She left us so suddenly and unexpectedly that's still hard to believe. People often look at me funny when I say that grams died unexpectedly at the age of 98. They say, "But she was 98!" and I just laugh and tell them they had to know her to understand what I meant.

It's true, you had to know Grams to understand that her age in numbers didn't define her. She was always a force to be reckoned with -- when she was a young child all the way up to her final days. She lived independently, drove, did her own grocery shopping, cooked for herself and paid her bills, among many other things. She'd slowed down physically and there was do doubt that age was taking its toll but not to the extent we'd expect at that age. The people who knew her were not surprised by her strength as she'd always been that way but the people who met her for the first time---when they talked to her, watched her move around, they were absolutely amazed by her.

Grams lived life to the fullest and enjoyed every waking moment. She was vibrant, strong and fiercely independent. She was warm, loving, compassionate and honest. She had this way of making everyone feel special. Grams gave so much of herself and asked so little in return. She never cared about money or material things; she cared about people and animals. The most important thing in her life was her family. We all have so many wonderful memories involving her. So much fun, so much laughter, so much craziness. So many of our memories involve grams and what wonderful memories they are!

Grams used to say, "I'll stick around as long as I'm needed", but when she left us, we still needed her. We will always need her but she left us with valuable lessons and a lifetime of memories to sustain us. Her presence was so strong and so interwoven with our lives that it's difficult to express the power of that presence and exactly what she meant to us, in mere words. Someday maybe I'll be able to find those words. I know if she were here, grams would have no doubt that I could. For now though, I'll just say that Grams truly was the greatest person I've ever known.

Click on the photo to enlarge and view just some of the wonderful memories!