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In Memoriam

Tonight, my grandmother passed away. Not too long ago I left the hospital where I said goodbye to her with my children and my niece. She told everyone how much she loved them, how proud she was of everyone and then told me how tired she was and that she was ready to go. She was one of the most remarkable women I’ve ever met and I’m so happy that I was born in her bloodline. Christmas was her favorite holiday and she loved all the attention to be on her while she opened her gifts at the end of the evening. It’s only apropos that she chose Christmas to let go so that she could be the center of attention, one last time. <3 She loved everyone getting together for the holidays and playing games and drinking and eating. She always got my uncle his annual edition of “Gun Digest” and everyone got their annual IU calendar showing all the games. She would plant the most remarkable and beautiful gardens full of every flower you could think of, annual and perennial. She would sit out back and look at the birds and fish in her pond. She had this really funny habit of opening and closing and squeezing her hands when she would get nervous or excited…An anxious tick of sorts that has passed its way into my brother and started in my great grandma. She had this recipe that we’ve been working on perfecting for bread pudding that my great grandmother used to make but never wrote down….We almost had it and now I feel like I need to keep working on it so that my daughter can make it for her family some day. She was part of the red hat ladies and loved going to the senior citizens center and dancing and playing Euchre and Bridge with the ladies. She was a lady of fervent faith. She loved God and believed in Him and his love more than anyone I’ve ever met in my life. She loved quilting. I kid you not, I carried the baby blanket she and my grandfather sewed for me all the way through college. I still have it. Anytime someone would move into a new house, get married, graduate…you were guaranteed to receive one of her prize-winning quilts as a gift for the occasion. She loved Indiana basketball and Nascar. She loved politics but rarely discussed them because that wasn’t the ladylike thing to do. She was a really hardworking woman with grit and fire and I’m proud to emulate some of her best qualities. I have so many wonderful memories with my grandmother. Her home was where I spent most of my birthdays and holidays and made my first best friend in my cousin. I am very sad to know that she will no longer be here, but the Buddhist in me is grateful that my children were able to say goodbye to the woman and not the dead body in a box. Her life is worth celebrating and so I have shed my tears and will now do my best to allow her to live on through the memories, recipes and traditions I pass down to my children. This week, as we move into Christmas, please remember to keep life in perspective. It’s very easy to get lost in the noise but I hope you all find your path to what is important and in front of you here and now. Tell the people you love that you love them. Say you’re sorry even though your pride doesn’t want you to. Embrace the things that make you uncomfortable and challenge yourself to be kind even when the person across from you doesn’t deserve it. I am thankful for all of you and I hope you and your families have a wonderful and worry-free holiday and I can’t wait to proceed into the new year to do great things together. Merry Christmas, y'all. <3

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