Saturday, February 24, 2007


My grandmother passed away today. Two days before her 88th birthday. I've said that out loud, that she died two days before her birthday and the words roll around my mouth like they're familiar. Like I'm talking about something that occurred in the distant past rather than today.

Recently, two friends reminded me of something that, while I hadn't forgotten, I also hadn't thought about for a long time. Before my grandmother went into a nursing home, back when she used to take care of herself, she sent me a card for nearly every holiday. Not just birthdays and Christmas, but Halloween, Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day too. In these cards were one or two uninflated balloons, usually in colors corresponding with the holiday. Orange and black for Halloween for example. I suppose this was so that I and a friend could blow up the balloons and feel festive.

Which made me think of a couple of other things. She always sent me cards that had a picture of a little girl on them, even when I was in my late 20s. She always wrote my name under the girl, so I would know she was thinking of me. Sometimes the girl had a cat, and in that case, she would write the name of her cat along side mine. It didn't matter that in real life I was wildly allergic to her cat.

Also, she was famous for sending trays of Russel Stover candies. The chocolate kind that were wrapped in aluminum covers in the shapes of ghosts, say, in the case of Halloween, or Santas, for Christmas. She always sent these wrapped in wrapping paper, then wrapped in brown paper and she always sent them insured mail.

Anyway, she was a good woman, probably best I've known. While I am sad, I'm not very sad. I know it was her time and she's in a better place. In heaven, because surely that's where such a good woman will go, she can celebrate every holiday with chocolates and balloons if she wants to.

I've thankful to my friends who thought of my Nana and her balloons this week.


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