This has been a weird few weeks for me. In the last 20 days, I’ve lost 2 important people in my life. I’ve actually been pretty ok throughout it all. I thought in the past when something like this would happen to me, I would be a horrible wreck. I’d never lost anyone in my family or anyone close to me before. So I got hit with a double whammy.
The first was my paternal grandmother. I mentioned this in my last blog post that she passed and I went for the funeral and such. I don’t really say much online b/c that side of my family has issues w/ privacy and they will be pretty angry if they ever find this blog and see that i wrote about it. but right now … I guess I don’t really care.
My grandmother and I weren’t THAT close. I saw her 1-2x every year. We had a bit of a language barrier. She spoke NO English, and my Chinese isn’t fluent enough for her to have a really deep meaningful conversation. I loved her to death. She was a little bitty thing that had 13 children. Whenever I stood next to her, I felt like a giant. Yeah, i know i was really fat and all that, but I mean in stature as well. She was about 4 feet tall. And she always had a smile on her face. We never understood WHY she was always smiling, but it always made us smile as well. She was always one of the happiest people I ever knew. She was always proud of her children, grand children and great grandchildren. She had alot of hardships in life, but it didn’t keep her from doing all that she did to provide a wonderful home for her family. I’m going to miss her smile and her laugh. I’m going to miss laughing at how tiny she was. I’m going to miss seeing her interact with my mom and dad..the little things she did and the things they talked about. I’m going to miss how my mom would scold her every time she would give my brother and me red envelopes with money in it and we would just giggle as she fought back and shoved the envelopes in our hands. I’m going to miss watching her and my other grandmother fight over the check whenever we all went to dinner together.
She was 96 years old when she passed. I am sad that she is gone. Her health wasn’t so great this last year, so I saw it as a kind of blessing when she left us. I don’t say that to be mean or cold, but she lived a long, healthy life with so much joy and pride. I couldn’t bare to see her in pain. i was blessed to have her in my life for 32+ years.
Another person that has left my life is my dear friend Lee. She was a bit crazy, but she was hilarious. She was part of my Simpatico knitting group and she was always there. She would call me almost daily to check in on me and just chit chat about our lives. She knew so much about me and my life. I think I told her more about what was going on w/ me all the time than i told my own mother. She was always so sweet. We talked about life, religion, politics, dinner, drinks, music. Whenever she dropped the F bomb, I would always yell “LEEE!!!!” then we would both crack up like crazy. We talked about everything. Who knew I could become so close to a woman that was in her 70’s.
I’m going to miss the stories about her family, how much she loved them. I’m going to miss going shopping with her. I’m going to miss going to lunch with her. I’m going to miss her addiction to Chai tea and peanut butter and chocolate. I’m going to miss how she always wanted to make whatever i was making, but then would throw her hands up in frustration when she realized it was beyond her realm of abilities. I’m actually going to miss how she would throw her socks at me every dang time she dropped a stitch and would say “OH NO OH NO!! I DROPPED A STITCH! HELP HELP!!”
Her health had been rapidly declining in the last 6 months. i didn’t get to see her or talk to her as much as I had before. I was blessed with the fact that I got to say goodbye to her a few hours before she passed. I guess someone just spoke to me and told me I needed to see her right then and there. I’m sad she is gone, but I am glad she is no longer in the pain she was in.
I was asked to speak at her memorial service tonight on behalf of the Simpatico group. I felt honored that the family asked me to do so. I had to keep it short and sweet, under 2 minutes which was a bit difficult. I have so many stories I could tell of Lee…I could talk for hours. I’m not scared of public speaking, but I got nervous when I thought about the fact that I had to keep it so short. What could I say that could really capture the essence of Lee? I was able to hold it together this whole weekend until after I sat down and saw my friends crying at what i said about her. Then it really kind of hit me…Lee really isn’t coming back this time. I can’t call her and hear her cheery voice on the other end of the phone. I can’t wave sock yarn in her face and make her jealous. I no longer have to buy matching sock yarn with her so she would have enough yarn to knit for her big ‘ol feet. I’m no longer going to help her kitchner her socks or knit half the sock for her. I’m not going to hear her say “jennifer…HELP!!” any time she runs into another problem. Hopefully where she is, she is a master knitter and is knitting with the bestest stuff that was spun from the clouds above.
Good night, Lee. I’ll make sure to sit next to you when I see you next and I’ll finish your socks for you.