I am out of town and without internet service, so this will be published upon our return.
We are at my mom’s to attend a party for my grandmother. She will be ninety this week. This woman has been alive for nearly a century, and you would never know it. She is still so full of life. She lives in a rural community in the mountains in northern California–by herself–where she still hauls in her own wood for her fireplace, still cooks and cleans and even washes her own car. She doesn’t garden in her yard much anymore, but her deck is full of flowers and even tomato plants. And sometimes, the lady wields a leaf blower. She still drives herself around her community, still even takes care of some of her younger elderly friends. She still has a regular game of Rummikub with her friends. She travels across the country every year, by plane or train, to see her kids in New York and Maryland. She’s a jet-setting old farm girl who won’t be held down by her years.
I am a lot like my grandmother. We’re both perfectionists–so much so that it’s a flaw. We are both headstrong to the point that we can be annoying about it. We’re both warm and big-hearted and full of love. I have her affinity for baking, her love of gardening, her enjoyment of crocheting (all of which are qualities she helped foster in me). And this weekend, as we looked through old photos, my mom pointed out just how much I look like my grandmother when she was younger. I love this. She’s my hero.
I can’t honestly imagine my grandmother not being here. She does have congestive heart failure, but honestly, most of us firmly believe she’ll be around at least another decade–certainly long enough to meet more great-grandchildren, likely long enough to meet great-great grandchildren.
I can only hope to live a life as full as hers, and I celebrate each year we continue to have her in our lives.