I've got to blog this out before I implode...picture to come later...
Yesterday on March 2nd, 2010, between 1 and 2pm...my paternal grandmother, Josephine...died.
To say I'm devastated to my core, is an understatement. To say that my heart and soul physically aches...is speaking lightly. Yes, she was my favorite person in the world. I love my mom and dad...yet, the truth is that growing up...when their relationship was unstable and I felt lost as a child...she was an anchor. I learned love...how to love, how to receive love, how to be a lady and how to be cherished. I got that from my grandmother, who never let a day pass when we were together without saying, "I love you".
She called me Baby Love...among other names throughout my childhood. (I will not share them just so you all can laugh at me, lol). I have some GREAT memories of my grandmother. I learned to love coffee because of her. She wouldn't give me my OWN, but she'd give me a few sips here and there. (In her beer drinking days...I'd steal sips of her Miller) LMAO
Her and my mom's oatmeal run neck in neck. Perfect consistency with applesauce and every now and again...raisins. She ALWAYS had cake mix and on demand would make one for me. She had the private stash of Krasdale sodas (what you know about that?) and indulged my love of novelty cereals. I was telling my girl, Joy...that my grandmother would prepare a picnic for my friends and I. We lived in the projects in Mt. Vernon, NY...in an era where it was perfectly fine for your kids to play and be safe. My grandma would make me Kool-Aid (the red flavor) and put it in a jar. Make PB&J's cut into fours, give us carrot and celery sticks, Twinkies and pop-tarts...all to sit under her window on a blanket behind the benches. She'd watch as we had a blanket party and played with our dolls.
She was the only person I knew for the longest who made scratch rolls, that were so good...she had requests throughout the buildings for them. She made her spaghetti and meatballs with her own homemade sauce and she kept Parmesan cheese because I wouldn't eat it without it. She was the beginning of my love of cooking.
My grandmother was my best friend. She was understanding and nurturing. She'd give me the truth, but she'd also support my decisions. When I was in a relationship no one else agreed with, she supported me and embraced my ex. To this day, he loved her dearly...and she him. She'd always tell me when she saw him and spoke so sweetly of him. She knew that keeping me at arm's length would only alienate me and she couldn't keep an eye on me. Even at 37, she was constantly trying to give me money and considered me her baby.
Sadly, the stress and strain of trying to take care of her elderly uncle (who was more like a brother) took it's toll. Her heart gave way to two attacks and her lungs to pneumonia. Severe dehydration and thickened blood made it hard for her frail frame to recuperate. I know she fought as much as she could...but, as she'd told me when we spoke the day before she went into ICU...she was tired.
One day, I wont cry until my chest heaves and my breath shortens. One day, I will think of her name and only smile instead of cry. One day, I will get through a night without tossing and turning. Today...I miss my grandmother like crazy. Today...I'm a baby girl without her precious grandmother.
I love you SO much, grandma. Be at peace. Be my angel.
Love, your Baby Love.
This was one great weekend...
5 days ago