My suitcase is not nearly packed. I've been pulling apart my closet to find the right dress and the right things to wear to services today and tomorrow.
In between all this I've been sorting through photographs of Gramma to take to Syracuse for today's calling hours. It's not hard to find pictures of my grandma. For so many important moments in my life she was there.
But the ones that strike such an emotional cord for me are the ones taken at my sister Mary's wedding.
We all hoped desperately she would be around to share that day-- for my dear grandmother it was the day that she had to be at. She told everyone how much she wanted to be there for her grandchild's special day. Being there to see that mattered more to her than anything else on this earth.I recall the hug I gave her after the ceremony--tears were flowing freely, knowing she had made it just in time to see me walk down the isle and then Mary walk down the isle with my parents. She was wheeled into the church literally just in time.
*** You see, the car carrying her, my aunts and the nurses aide had been trapped in traffic from the Puerto Rican Day Pride parade running through Rochester (I kid you not). Such is the Seinfeld episode that can be our lives.
That day I remember thinking how wonderful she looked...a peace and contentment was on her face. I don't have a photo of my moment with her (as we waited for the photo session to be arranged) but it will be locked in my mind's eye and heart forever. The joy we both felt about having seen Mary get married was pretty indescribable. Yet for her...it was a triumph beyond measure---she had made it to that very special day, one marked on her calendar.
She patted me wistfully, just like when I was a child. She held me close and whispered in my ear "Some day it will be your turn."
Open emotional waterworks.
I was speechless for a moment but whispered back...
"I'm still looking for Mr. Right Grams....and they don't make many like grandpa anymore."
It was then that she smiled smile as wise as I'd seen her smile in a very long time- the softness of recollection in her eyes. I will remember forever that look of gratitude she had at those words--perhaps pride-- that I held on a pedestal the only love of her life. Her smile said it all...and I know now as I grieve her loss-- I know she has reunited with him...
My sister Mary's moment with Gramma. Priceless.