My grandmother passed on April 21st, she was 103 years old. Her funeral was this past Friday. It was a long couple of weeks to wait for closure but we are all well.
Logan picked out the perfect little wooden box for me to decorate for my grandmother. I think it was good for him to be able to help in some way. He loved my grandmother very much and has been watching over all of us. The sentence below the clasp reads: made in loving embrace of our fondest remembrances never to be forgotten.
I painted the wood with a pale leaf green acrylic I know she would have loved. Added line work in black Sharpie marker and gold edging around the top of the lid in metallic gold acrylic to give it definition. The centers of the flowers were punched out of vintage poetry and I painted out some of the words. You can read the flowers from left to right.
The whole family and some close family friends tucked things inside for her; Mother’s Day cards, letters, photos. I put in all of Ysa’s drawings that she had taped up on grandma’s wall as well as a deck of cards and three poker chips. My grandmother loved to play cards and could still clean you out at 102. The last year it became a little more difficult but she still wore the lime green poker hat we gave her. My mother gave the hat to Logan and he wears it when we play cards to honor her.
The poker chips I put in were from a set that was originally my grandparents’ when I was growing up. They are very old and very cherished; I put in one of each color/point value. They played every Thursday night for years, as long as I could remember, and she taught me how to play. At first, when I was very little, I would sit at her feet and play with extra chips and another deck of cards. As I grew, I went from floor to lap, throwing chips in for her. She was very patience with me and I loved being included. Most children my age would have been in front of the TV in the other room but I have always preferred the company of older people. I love them. I remember my grandfather’s giggle when I would do well. I miss him too, very much.
After the service I asked everyone to write my grandmother a message on a balloon so that we could send them up to her. I wanted to end things on a positive note, to get everyone’s head out of the grave with my grandmother. Ysa had been crying so I got her to help me (partly to distract her) and asked her if she would release them up to grandma. She wanted to do it and the perfect breeze came as if on cue to help her.
All in all it was a good day. It feels weird to say that when you just lost someone, but the sun was shining and most of the family was together. She would have wanted that.
We all went to Antonio’s afterwards for lunch. Outstanding (read unbelievable) food, lots of conversation of our fondest memories and of the future. Mom and I set a place for my grandmother at the head of the table, a bouquet of gorgeous pale pink roses for her.
She was with us, in some small way, I know she was.