A great woman left us yesterday.
She was my namesake (along with her husband) and she was my maternal grandmother. She was a proud woman and she was a private woman and wouldn’t want me to share too much, I’m sure. I will however share a little bit, because today is heavy.
She was born in 1925 and she was a woman who never seemed afraid of anything. She loved to travel and used to tell me about a trip she took as a young woman, a boat ride to England, I believe. It always felt like she had seen the whole world, and perhaps she had. I know I’ll always remember the dolls she would bring me after she’d been somewhere when I was small. Dolls that represented the country she had visited. They were beautiful.
She shared her wisdom, but often she would disguise it so that you thought you had reached the conclusion all on your own. It was an invigorating thing as a child to experience. She was honest, there was no bullshit with her and sometimes she did say things that were hard to hear but she was always kind about it and she always tried to help.
Oh, did she help. In every way she could. Always looking for solutions and ways she could help out. And she looked out for me. Like a guardian angel, she was constantly making sure that I wouldn’t fall between the cracks. Encouraging me every step of the way, no matter where my interest led me, she supported and encouraged me, making sure that something would come of me.
She was creative and very talented in her creative endeavours and she was very spiritual. She told me once that she believed that after we die we go to a spiritual heaven where you have a space of your own and you meet all the people you love and who have gone before you. She had her believes but she never pushed her believes on anyone. It was delightful to listen to her speak of such things and I liked to hear her take on the world.
She seemed to have a sixth sense about things too. Once she asked me sternly: “When are you bringing the girl into the world? I want to see her!”
This was years before my daughter was born.
Today is heavy and though I am glad she is now at peace in her heaven she will be sadly missed.
Now if she was here she would probably tell me to cheer up a little and write that poem I promised her, and she wouldn’t at all approve of the dark grey Rammstein sweatshirt I’m wearing.
“You always wear such dark clothes,” she used to say, “Add some colour to your life”.
I think that’s something we all need more of these days.
Bless nafna mín amma, Goodbye.