Tonight as I talked to Sam to say goodnight, an early one for me because I'm recovering from the stomach flu, he said he'd really wished I'd been there this afternoon. It's the time of year he misses Pa (his Grandpa Yoder) the most. Spring is a big time of year for him and so much of what I hear about farming from Sam involves Pa.
Then as I went to bed I began to think about my grandma, both of them really. Amazing, beautiful, strong women, who have always accepted me for who I am, even when I've felt like a complete fuck up (Grandma Garber would be unhappy with my word choice there, Grandma Carlson would probably laugh). I guess in those terms I most often think of Grandma Garber. She was a devout, God-fearing woman, but never did I feel judged or unloved by her. Never did she say, "Elise, don't you think you should pass up your seventh molasses cookies, you've put a few pounds on!"
She was one of two people who continued to use my childhood nickname, Lisi, into my adulthood, the other being my close family friend, Matt. When I was in my early 20's it kind of annoyed me. Especially after my third child was born. Whenever she called me Lisi, I would think, "Geez, Grandma, I'm a grown woman with three children now, can't I just be Elise." Funny how now the name I prefer to be called as an aunt is Tía Lisi.
She has this sixth sense about her for people who needed a pick me up. I can't count the number of times I was having a particularly rough week and I'd get a call, that familiar voice saying, "Elise I was thinking about you and I made something for you, would it be ok if I brought it over?" And then carrot jello or molasses cookies or tapioca or whatever she'd whipped up recently would arrive at my door with a smile, a hug and an I love you.
Aidan had his choir competition on Saturday and as I sat listening to his choir, being impressed by the incredible strides they've made in two years, I thought, this time last year, Grandma was sitting here beside me, cooing in her Grandma kind of way, exclaiming over how great they sounded. I have to admit that times like that make me feel a little bitter. I get that she was 82 and that she lived a great life. I know that she is now with my grandpa, in a place she longed to be her entire life. But that doesn't mean that sometimes I'm not a little angry that she left when and how she did. And really, that's all I can say about that right now.