“What’d you get me this for?”

“On Earth, we have astronauts.  They go to space and they have their missions.  And once they complete their mission, they have to come back to Earth.  Our sister’s mission took her 96 years to complete, but now she has done so and it is time for her to go back to the Lord.”

These were close to the words the priest who said my grandmother’s funeral shared with us two years ago.  There’s another post that goes into why these words are so powerful to me (May 2013 – Mission: Complete), so I won’t go into that again, but these words have stayed with me for the past two years.  Today is a day that calls to mind many memories.  I think of my Grandma and that she would have turned 99 in two and a half months.  I think of the remarkable woman she was.  She was a teenager during the Great Depression and she had to drop out of high school a month before graduating so she could take help care of her family.  A fact she never hesitated to tell you about.  I think of the days my cousin would imitate her with her cane looking out her window as a car would come down the lane from her chair.  When she would yell at my brother and me for using our teeth to open something or putting our feet on the couch.  And then of course, there’s the Chicken Dance and Elmo.  I remember sleeping over some nights and we would watch ballroom dancing on TV before she would send me to bed.  She would tell me stories of how her and my grandfather enjoyed the tango.  And what it was like growing up during the Depression.  I miss her brutal honesty the most, though.  My favorite usually started off with my brother’s name in a disapproving tone.  Or “What did you do that for?” in reference to trying to do something nice for her.  And of course, the “I don’t want this!” for any gifts we might have given to her.  She will always be the loving grandmother to me, though.

A short post from the other side of the world, but one in tribute to a woman who liked things short, sweet, and to the point.  Love you and miss you forever, Grandma.

Rest in Peace.