Last Thursday, my Grammie passed away. (Nothing like jumping right into the heart of things, right?).
Let’s rewind a little bit. My Grammie has lived in California all of my life. I saw her often – although I don’t necessarily remember when I was young, I know that I saw her and I know that as a very young toddler (I think I was two), my parents drove cross country with me and 3 of my siblings to visit out there (I don’t remember this at all). And she would come out here to the East coast once a year – making it for special occasions or during the hot summer months, wishing that it always coincided with each other. And we would call and hear from her on holidays – she never missed a birthday or Christmas.
She’d been sick for a while. Last June, she was given a prognosis that only gave her 3-6 months to live – so she did outlast that. But, this past summer, she didn’t come out. My mom went out there. She came back, she went out again in the fall. While my mom was out there in the fall, my sister visited with her wife. They had a great time. I had was jealous of their trip and was planning my own trip to go soon.
I never went.
Last Thursday was sudden. It was a surprise. It was not expected.
Yes, my Grammie was sick. Yes, we knew that she wasn’t going to necessarily live that much longer. But she was better. And no one expected her to not still be alive now.
I took the burden of letting my siblings know off of my mom’s shoulders and told them what had happened. I told them what my mom had told me: that there wouldn’t be any services, it was what Grammie had wanted.
I knew that telling my sister would be hardest. And it was. She was upset that she hadn’t called my Grammie as she had been planning to, but kept putting it off. I’m upset that I never made it out there. But I know that there’s no use in playing the regrets game – we can’t change things now, we can only learn from them.
My sister came home for a few days. Although no services were held, I took the day that my sister would be here all day off of work. My two brothers that are in town took the day off of work. We went brew hopping. We got together and honored my Grammie in our own way – spending time together as a family.
The lesson here: Make the call. Call your Mom or Dad. Call your Grammie or Grandpa, Nanny, Papa, Nana (or whatever you call them). Call your brothers or sisters. Call your best friend. Or whomever you consider family. Don’t put off the task because it’s easier to wait.
Make the call.