As I finish this post it is actually December 11th. When I look at the original post I see that I started it the beginning of November; over a month ago. Even then I never imagined that we were yet to experience even more sadness... but I will save that for later. I will leave this entry post dated and publish it now because it is a snapshot of my feelings at the time.
Honestly – it seems absolutely silly to sit and write words into cyberspace to try to express how I feel right now. There is a sadness that has come over me that is indescribable. It is strange how life sometimes feels it has been scripted… in the most amazing and uncanny way, like you might have been involved in it’s crafting.
So when I have moments – like the one that made me reach for my camera to photograph my grandmother in July – as she stood waving goodbye – I like to believe that part of me knew – that this would be the last moment I saw her – that this would be the beautiful picture I would hold in my heart of her waving goodbye to my family.
I must stop myself now – because I cannot even begin to describe how much my heart hurts with this loss of this sweet special woman in our lives. I know that there were decades of beautiful memories we were able to share… but I still wanted more. I guess I am selfish. But, I was not ready for this to be our new reality. So – I cannot continue this story of sadness and woe.
Instead I will tell you the story of a hat. Well, two hats actually.
It began a long time ago. (Maybe not ancient times – but back in 1976.) I was a year and three weeks old, and my Grandmother made me rabbit ears to wear for my first Halloween. And so a tradition began. My mother (who like my grandmother saves everything) kept my rabbit ears for me, until I had a baby of my own to wear them. Miles was a rabbit for his first Halloween! (You can see all of this on our Halloween Rabbit Post from 2010.)
As Halloween approached this year I told my mother that I planned for Ruben to take his turn with the rabbit ears. Then I wondered aloud what Miles should be? Without hesitating my mother answered, "He can be the carrot!" So the plan was hatched. Made perfect by an all orange ensemble I found on sale, and a hunting cap my mom picked up. All we needed were the embellishments to make the foliage of the carrot top. Who better to complete this task than the original maker of the bunny hat herself? GG was the perfect person for the job! Since my mom had a trip planned to Texas before Halloween we knew our plan would work! I was so excited that I began telling Miles that he was going to be a carrot for Halloween - and luckily he thought this was a great idea!!
My mother went to see GG because she had a routine surgery planned, and my mom wanted to be there to help her recuperate. In typical fashion - not a moment of the trip was to be wasted. SO my mother had GG working on the carrot hat immediately upon her arrival.
It hurts too much to tell the rest, but unfortunately her sweet spirit was not able to handle the operation. We spent a couple of days hoping and praying she would recover, and that is what I was doing the afternoon of October 24th when I received the call from my mother.
As I hung up I heard the sound of the mail truck on our street. Something told me to go outside and check the mail. There it was. A package for Miles that contained the last thing her precious hands ever crafted - after a lifetime of making beautiful things - and it arrived like a gift from beyond at the exact moment I knew she was gone.
I immediately looked up to the sky and said, "Thank you GG."
I felt in my heart she could hear me.
When Miles woke up he was ecstatic! He was so proud to put on his new carrot hat - and he squealed with delight. Yet he knew something was wrong because I was so sad, and he just hugged me and held me as I cried. (It is astounding to watch your toddler accept and understand true huge emotions in the most thoughtful and caring ways! It made me realize for a moment that these raw feelings are so recognizable to him because true emotion is all he knows. I am so thankful for his kind heart and hugs, they helped carry me through the experience of the entire week.)
When Ruben woke up we took the rabbit hat up, along with the carrot hat, and tried on their Halloween costumes together. As the light spilled in and warmed the room I knew that GG would have loved this moment - brothers - laughing and smiling - enjoying the two hats she made - thirty six years apart - and being enjoyed by another generation.
(2009) GG with Miles - the first great grand child - creating a family of four generations!
(2011) GG with Ruben - another baby boy to love.
Then we paraded them through the airport on our way home on Halloween in complete rabbit and carrot garb. We got some funny looks, but I loved seeing how adorable they were in their hats! It is their happiness and their laughter that will bring me through this sadness, I know. For now it seems hard to imagine that I will not look into her sweet eyes again, and truthfully I miss her terribly.
All I can do now is continue her legacy by teaching my boys about the amazing woman who loved them dearly for the short time she was able. Her love will continue to shine through all those who knew her, and we will carry her in our hearts forever!