Goodbyes and Fresh Tears

Loveys, my grandma passed away. We'd been to Texas recently to see her because we knew she was ill, but I think we all felt she'd have a bit more time.
But then Jesus called her and she went.
It was the most emotional weekend I've had in a long time. I walked into her house and stared at the sink where she would wash dishes, and I just cried. The funeral was hard. She was a beautiful person who touched so many lives, and maybe especially because of that, saying goodbye was hard for everyone. Her legacy will live on, I know. And her family will never forget her.
But I feel this very real heaviness at the thought of her being gone. I think it will be with me for a while.
She was my last grandparent. They're all in heaven, and with that, it sort of feels like the end of a chapter of my life. Do you know what I mean? The end of childhood. The letting go of something. And with that comes this ache.
I was close to both of my grandmothers. They were alike in some ways--these two incredibly self-sufficient, capable, loving women. They were both examples of strength in womanhood and being leaders of their families. I'm so much better for having known them and being loved by them. My many memories of both of them are beautiful. They loved their families in such practical, inspiring ways. I hope to love my family like that. I hope to be there for my children and, one day, my grandchildren the way they were there for all of us.
My kids and I went to stay a week with my grandma last summer, and I'm so very thankful we did. Because I'll never forget seeing my children playing in the corners and spaces that I once played in. I'll never forget seeing Ashtyn roll out tortillas with my grandma, or seeing the kids eating breakfast at her table every morning. Watering the plants, thundering up and down the stairs, going out to eat, watching movies--all the things I grew up doing too. I didn't know at the time that last summer was our last summer with grandma, but I'll hold tight to all those memories for the rest of my life because it was such a wonderful time. Sitting with Grandma, drinking coffee together, talking, laughing, eating. She and I sat outside on a bench under a huge tree for a little while, just talking, watching my mom water plants and my kids run around.

This past weekend, I was there at the funeral. And after, with my family, all of us eating together--I was thinking how Grandma would have loved being there with us. And how we're all there because of our love for her. She's the root of us. She's where we all started. I have a special love for my cousins, for my aunts and uncles, because we're linked in this undeniable way.

And really, there with cousins I haven't seen in a while, I was reminded that it's so nice to be with people you always feel connected to. I'm going to miss my grandma. I already feel it. She was irreplaceable. But I'm thankful for the years we had her. I still miss my Mimi so much. But with her too, I feel so thankful for all the time I had with her. I have so many memories of time spent together.

And that's where the ache comes. This realization that those growing-up years, playing at Grandma's house or Mimi's house--those are only memories now. For many years now, I've been a wife and mother and lived my own life. But even grown-up women miss their grandmothers and cry over the loss. I know that part of who I am stems from Dora Vela and Patricia Brumble.

My Grandma Dori was beautiful. Classy. She worked hard and was successful. She had integrity, wisdom, and true love for her family. I loved her.

The kids were crying in the car when Jeff dropped me off at the airport. Everyone wanted to go with me. I was so glad to see them when I got home. Back to my own little family. I was so glad to hold Lily. And even today, as I'm doing laundry and making dinner and putting Band-Aids on little scrapes, it makes me think that Grandma would be pleased to see it. She taught us to take care of each other.

I've learned many things from her, but working hard, doing our best, and taking care of our family--those things stand out in my mind. Truly, I'm so grateful for the blessing of having had her in my life. She's in my heart.

I'll miss her till I see her again.

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