To that effect, I cannot say I had a great and close relationship with my maternal grandmother. Grandma wasn't like papa, who was pure laughter and joy, she was a little bit, well, mean. She said what was on her mind, whether or not anyone wanted to hear it, and whether or not it was even true.
My first Thanksgiving coming home from college, I went to see her, admittedly well on my way to the freshman 15. Her first words, before even saying hello, "My God you've gotten fat." That was her, she didn't care if she insulted you on every level, she was going to say exactly what she thought.
But yesterday, at the news of her sudden and unexpected passing, I went through old scrapbooks and pictures. And she may not have always been nice, and she may not have been particularly "grandmotherly" but she was there.
Every birthday dinner we had at the house, she was always there. Complaining that the cake was too sugary, but always at the table. From childhood birthday's with Minnie Mouse, and teenage friends coming over thinking we were so cool.
She was sitting at the table every Thanksgiving dinner, the only one with a cup of coffee, then sitting at the counter and watching mom, Moey and I hand wash and put away the mountain of dishes.
She came to every 4th of July picnic to watch us all on the go karts, came to the Trumbull County Fair just to sit in the stands and watch them prepare the track, she even came to my first drama production where I had a minor role and even dropped a line (she also pointed out that dropped line later. Again, no filter.).
I think that was her way of showing love. She wasn't affectionate in her words, she sometimes slammed doors in our faces, hollered, or even threw food. But then later, she would get over her anger, and she would show up and be present.
And it's hard for me to accept that we will no longer have her presence. She was such a staple, she was just always so there, that for her to not be just feels wrong.
Rest in peace gram, enjoy being with papa once more, I'm sure he's been waiting for you and missing you too the last 11 years.