Dear Grandma Millie, My father called me early this morning and told me you died last night in your sleep. His words are still ringing in my ears and though I'm still attempting to understand what those words mean, I'm happy you aren't suffering in your body and mind anymore. Much to your dismay, you were forced to live for way too long. I hope you are now finally at peace. I know in my heart that you and bumpa are together now, whether that place is in heaven, or on a different planet, or in a banyan tree somewhere in India.
Less than 4 months ago, I saw you for the last time. We spent the day doing your physical therapy session with that rather hostile nurse with a blonde ponytail. You widened your eyes and smirked every time she forced you to do another set of weightlifting. I suppose I saw a lot of life and spunk in those eyes and didn't expect you to die as quickly as you have, but maybe having me, Michael, and Beckett around momentarily lifted your spirits. I tucked you in for an afternoon nap, kissed you on the forehead and left thinking that I would see you again. But now you're gone.
Oh Grandma Millie. So many memories are running through my mind. You in the kitchen, stirring a pot of beef stew. You hugging me in the morning as a child and commenting on my "pizza breath". A soft whistle you gave while cleaning the house. Your fine-tuned hospital corners. Our endless rounds of rummikub and skip bo. Your endlessly social life. The way you said "Well I'll say" and "For Pete's Sake". The hundreds of Christmas cards you and Bumpa would receive for Christmas lined up on the grand piano like a city. Your smell - a blend of dusty rose and powder. The polyester ensembles you wore with perfectly matched accessories. The way you looked much younger in a swimming cap. Your impeccable typing skills used in letters to the family. The shock of soft white curly hair on your head. Your signature on every card you've ever sent me for each and every birthday, easter, and Christmas. Your patience. Your acceptance of your children and their choices. Your unwavering love for grandpa, your children, your grand-children, and friends.
I'm going to miss you grandma. Instead of writing and mailing letters to you each and every month as I have done for years, I'm going to write you letters and place them on an alter dedicated to your spirit.
So goodbye for now. I love you very much and I'll speak to you soon.