Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Grandma Paige

Today is my Grandma Paige's birthday.  She is my Mom's mom.  She was born in 1933.

When I was 15, she died of cancer. 

She was 61. 

I really didn't understand the gravity of that at 15. 

I was into boys, clothes, sports and friends and my immature mind and heart couldn't fully grasp what it meant for her to leave us at such a young age.

Sadly, it's now,16 years later, I am only just beginning to see the depth of her absence. 

There is something about the Matriarch of the family that holds things together a certain way.  I don't know if my family feels it, and I think the Aunts and Uncles have done a great job of stepping up and taking over, but it will never be the same without her (or Grandpa) there.  I do hope we can honor their faithfulness to our family, by continuing to meet, by sincerely having whole relationships with one another and teaching our kids about who they were and what they meant to our lives.

At 15, I was naive to think my Grandma would be around forever.  I assumed that she would celebrate my graduation, see me get married, and be around for the birth of my first child.  That time is lost and I have wished so many times that she was still here. I would love to just sit and talk to her about life.  She birthed 5 kids too; 2 girls and then 3 boys (and rowdy ones too).  Imagine the wisdom she could have imparted!

I think she would've loved my little troop of boys. 

My Mom still cries about her being gone.(hope you don't mind me sharing that Mom, but it's sweet and genuine)  It's been 16 years and she misses her so much still.  My Mom turns 60 this year and I just can't even begin to imagine losing her anytime soon.  My heart aches for her loss. 

My Grandma was tough, I remember having a certain respect for her "toughness" as a child.  It definitely border lined fear!  My Grandma was pretty.  She always kept her hair short, (and so does my Mom now).  She had pretty eyes and I loved her smile.  I remember the sweatshirts she sewed herself, they always had this jersey knit edging on them.  I have looked for that jersey knit edging and you can't find it anymore.  Maybe she made it.

We spent time at their house a lot as kids, working and playing in their yard and their woods.  Hiding out in Grandpa's big shop, playing house up in the loft, taking naps upstairs...they had this great A-frame house.  Upstairs in the loft it had storage doors on the inside perimeter and we could open those doors and hide and play in those little areas.  They were like little caves, and I remember loving that upstairs.  It smelled like Grandma.  Her sewing stuff was up there (and we NEVER touched it).  There were big windows on each end of the upstairs and you could look out over the whole yard and as a child those windows seemed huge. 

I remember being there for her birthday one year and I think I was in charge of writing her age on the cake.  It must have been her 54th birthday, so I would've been 8!  Instead of writing 54 though, I wrote 84 on the cake instead.  I was completely clueless as to why that was so funny, but I remember her laughing about it.  NOT being mad, but just laughing that I though she was 84.  (I wasn't dumb, I was 8)

My perspective is limited, but without a doubt, I do remember this:

She loved my Grandpa.
She was a faithful wife and mother for 45 years.  WOW!  I just calculated that.
She was tough as nails.
She loved her children and her grandchildren.

There was a time where those things were common.  That time is not now.  

I am thankful for the legacy that she has left, even if she left us early. 

I miss you Grandma. 

Happy Birthday!


Anonymous said...

Thank you Colleen ! During the Holiday times like this I miss her very much ! She would have loved all her grandchildren. Their spunk, their differences and their quickness to smile. It's hard to believe she has been gone that long. Thank you for the memories ! I love you, Mom

aunt carole said...

colleen you couldn't have said it any better!! i cry too for missing her and what she has been missing. then i realize that we think she has missed all these important times in our lives and i know that she is right there.opps crying now1
i love my family and feel so lucky that there is soooo many of us.