Thursday, July 18, 2013

Grandma Gloria

Grandma Gloria. Or simply Grandma to me. She was really my only one. My mom's mom died when I was six or so and I don't have much of a memory of her. My dad's dad died when he was really young. So I grew up with one Grandma and one Grandpap.

Grandma Gloria passed away last month.

It was not sudden. There was a chance for family to say goodbye. She would've been 88 last week and lived a full life. With the funeral taking place on Tuesday, June 18, it delayed my arrival to YASC Orientation up in New York by a couple of days.

Grandma Gloria with her grandchildren on her 85th birthday.

However, her funeral was a celebration and a blessing in disguise. It brought together family and friends. Family that I was worried I wouldn't have the chance to see before I left for a year. And some family that I haven't seen in about 10 years from Michigan. Her house was full of her spirit by bringing all those that loved her together, sharing memories, laughter and support, but also grief and sadness.

My grandmother was a force to be reckon with, a women with a strong backbone and independent spirit. I'm sure most of it came from raising five kids (four boys) by herself after my grandfather died in 1971. She had a love for the black and white, classic movies. She taught me how to shuffle cards properly and play solitaire, the importance of letter writing and the joy which comes from musicals (Sound of Music, Singing in the Rain and Meet Me in St. Louis, I all watched first at her house).

The boys loved her. haha

At the service, my Mom read a wonderful reflection written by Thomas Mills, a man who's my Dad's age who grew up down the road. It's a wonderful testimony about not only my Grandma Gloria but the importance of community and family. Read it here.

While it is always hard to say goodbye and let go, it is better to let someone live in the glory of Heaven than to suffer on Earth. I feel blessed to have had such a wonderful woman help guide me during part of my life and I know she is continually guiding me from up above.

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