Eighteen years later…I still see her. I feel her presence. I think of the joy she would get from all I do, all I’ve become, and the family I’ve created. Before I begin, let me say, I was blessed with four wonderful grandparents, and loved each dearly. But I was pretty young when my dad’s parents passed away. And because I lived closer to my other grandparents, and had them in my life into adulthood, my relationship with them (particularly my grandmother) was deeper.
My grandma Lucille, or Sadie as my grandfather affectionately nicknamed her, was so much to me growing up. I longed for Friday nights, because it meant an overnight with Grandma and Grandpa, while the rest of my family went to the high school ballgames. I counted down the days until those nights arrived, because I knew I was the main focus at their house. Whatever I wanted to eat, whatever game I wanted to play, a perfect pallet of pillows and blankets on the floor for sleeping, and the promise of a fun day on the following Saturday. I was their only granddaughter. No one else enjoyed the pampering of shopping and lunch out, quite like I did.
I thought my grandma hung the moon. I know she felt the same about me. I was pretty sure she was the most delicate, beautiful and kind hearted person I’d ever met. I’d also never known anyone who loved the color pink like she did. Her house was pink. ( My grandfather loved her A LOT!) Her kitchen was pink. She wore pink nearly everyday. I never had the heart to tell her, but I never really liked pink. Despite that, I wore the same pink suit she wore at my wedding, on the day of her funeral. I felt it was the greatest honor I could bestow upon her. Today, all I have to do is look to the sky on certain days, to know she is near. She’s there, in those beautiful pink Nebraska sunsets that seem to radiate the promise that those we love are watching over us.
I know, that from above, she’s bursting with pride at what she sees. She would have loved to be a great grandmother to my three girls and my brother’s five boys. People used to say she lived for the “next event,” and had we told her we were “expecting,” she might have hung on longer. She loved life and anticipated each special moment as it approached. She would have turned 100 this month. What a celebration we would have had, complete with pink balloons and a new pink suit for her to wear.
I’m certain there is not a more special relationship, than that of a grandparent and grandchild. There’s simply nothing else like it. If you’ve ever really watched grandparents and grandchildren interact, it’s as if there is no age gap. How many times have I said to my parents, “What happened to you?” or “Who are you?” all while explaining that they never let me get by with half of what they let the grandchildren do! Most grandparents, as mine did, will say they’ve earned the right to spoil their grandkids and that it’s the best job they’ve ever had. Beyond that, anyone blessed to share a bond with a grandparent, will say the memories made are immeasurable. What a gift.
Mine are gone. I cherish the time we had and the lessons they gave me. There are things that remind me of each of them, but when it’s a pink sky, it’s a flood of memories of Grandma Sadie.