Today is Bob’s maternal grandma/our children’s “GG’s” 90th birthday. This time last February we were celebrating with her at Bob’s parents’ home, as she was still with us. I even mentioned our plans in this post on her birthday last year. I recall discussing that day having a big party in honor of her 90th in 2011. It is bittersweet knowing that she did not live to see today.
I like to imagine and to believe that GG is at peace and very happy celebrating her 90th in Heaven. I picture her dancing up a storm with her husband/Bob’s grandpa. Though I never got to meet him, I have heard many stories and even got to see old home movies of the two love birds dancing together.
It’s hard to believe that this June GG will have been gone for a year. The end of her life was not easy for her and in many ways it was a blessing for her and all of us that that she passed away when she did. However, that doesn’t make me miss her any less or wish some days that she was still here.
I miss GG’s laugh and how she would say “Yeah, yeah!” when you understood something she was trying to tell you. I remember the way she would give me a hard time if I left my purse in the car instead of bringing it inside when we would visit her and how if I was cooking or baking something when she was around she would stand over me commenting on my process and technique.
I was a week overdue when I delivered our son Sean at 41 weeks gestation and I believe that every morning of that 41st week of my pregnancy GG called me to say “are you still pregnant?!” We would laugh together that surely she would have heard if her newest grandchild had been born, but I appreciated her checking in, as I too was excited and anxious to find out when my first child was going to be born!
GG also had a tradition of calling all of her offspring (including us “outlaws”) very early in the morning on their birthdays! Though at times over the years some of us complained about having to answer the phone that early on our special days, I know that we all really appreciated how much she cared about us. I will really miss getting my birthday call from GG next week when I turn 36.
The picture of GG in this post is of her standing in the upstairs hallway of our home next to one of the many beautiful “paint-by-numbers” creations that she made over the years. I have always loved this one that she made for us and think of her every time I walk by it.
In someways I think it is easier to say goodbye to a loved one when they die in their golden years and not how our Molly did (not long after she was born). However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t think about GG often, as I do my four biological grandparents who died between 1995 – 2000. It is always hard when an entire generation in your family has gone.
There were three years between the death of the last of my four grandparents (my paternal grandmother) in May 2000 and the birth of our son Sean in October 2003. We had a lot of wonderful times with my family during those years, including Bob and my wedding in September 2000. But it was bittersweet that our immediate Axe family only had two generations for awhile.
Though I feel so blessed and grateful for each new birth and addition to our family, especially most recently our daughter Abby in September 2009 and our niece Cora in March 2010, I sometimes wish that we didn’t have to eventually say goodbye to one generation before we can continue to welcome the next into our family.
Today, on GG’s 90th birthday, I remember how much it meant to me for the 10 years between the death of both of my grandmothers in 2000 until GG’s death last year in June to have another very special and loving grandmother in my life. Though none of my grandparents ever got to meet any of my children, at least in this lifetime, I feel blessed and lucky that GG did. She especially got to know and had a special relationship with our son Sean. That means a lot to me, as well as that she got to meet Abby and see her many times before she died.
I will leave you with GG’s version of the nursery rhyme/song “Paddy Cake:”
Paddy cake, paddy cake, baker’s man.
Bake me a cake as fast as you can.
You roll it and roll it and…
STICK IT IN THE OVEN!
Her take on that classic song always cracked me up, especially when she would shout/shriek “STICK IT IN THE OVEN” as she would tickle the child she was singing it to in their tummy! She loved to sing it to her great-grandchildren (she had 14 in all when she died) and surely her 6 grandchildren before them.
I am holding GG’s two daughters (Bob’s mom/my mother-in-law and Bob’s aunt) especially close in my thoughts and prayers today, on their mom’s 90th birthday and sending lots of and love and birthday wishes up to Heaven as I remember our beloved GG.
Happy Birthday GG!
We miss you and we love you!
You will always be in our hearts.