Thursday, March 13, 2014

Goodbye Grammie

Hello friends.  

Today's post isn't really Disney related so much as is it is meant to be therapeutic.

Earlier this morning, we lost my grandmother.

It seems so surreal when just yesterday I was "virtually" celebrating one of my best friend's 30th birthday while he was at Disneyland.  It was a day filled with laughter and fun.  Today started with a phone call from my mother at 6:49 am.  I knew before I answered my phone what she was going to tell me.  I could just feel it.

Grammie had been getting worse over the past few weeks, and we all knew it was eventually coming.  Thankfully, she passed in her sleep and we don't think she was in any pain.  When my grandfather died, he was in the hospital and very ill.  After that experience, I couldn't bare to see Grammie go that way.

When Grampie died, it came as a complete shock really.  He was getting sick with what we thought was a cold around Christmas and everything went downhill after that.  By the beginning of February, he had pneumonia and was diagnosed with lung cancer.  He passed a few days later.

At least this time, we knew that Grammie's health was slowly deteriorating.  This time I felt more closure.  I remember the last time I saw her a few weeks ago; I wondered then if that was the last time I'd see her.

I'm glad that I have good memories of her.  At Christmas, we brought Grammie up to my parents house and we all watched Eliot's and my Disney wedding video.  She was laughing and smiling while watching it.  I'm really glad that she got to see it since she wasn't able to make the trip down for our wedding.

Grammie oversaw and worked with my cousins and me at our family run "Brown's Studio" store in Bar Harbor.  Grampie and her owned the store and 4 generations of Browns worked there before Grammie and Grampie retired.  It was my first job. I remember her not taking anyone's crap.  She used to go into the "toy room" and make sure kids weren't trying to pull any "funny business" in there.  If she didn't like something she saw, she definitely would chase them out.  I used to be mortified, but nowadays it just makes me laugh.  Grammie always made sure each of us grandkids got to pick one candy bar during our work shift.  It was always one of my favorite parts of the day.

Grammie and Grampie always spoiled us with Christmas presents.  She always wrote "From Santa" on a lot of them.  Through the years, I got countless books, scrapbooking kits and other craft supplies.  She knew how much I loved to make things.  Grammie and Grampie also gave us rare coins and $2 bills.  (Grampie loved collecting coins.)  I've got quite a collection of them somewhere.

The other thing Grammie gave the grandchildren was dolls.  I never would have thought about collecting dolls until she got them for us.  And she found different ones to give us each year.  I have Hansel and Gretel, a beautiful angel, Little Red Riding Hood and many others.  I actually started to collect Tonner Dolls myself when I was in college.  Tonner made a Harry Potter and Twilight collection and I have over 10 dolls now.  Tonner also made some Disney princess and Small World dolls that I'd love to own someday.

Grammie was also a fun person to be around.  When I was a kid, she was a lot more reserved.  By the time I was in middle school, she was quite something.  I remember going to one of the local restaurants back home for a "ladies only" lunch and she was trying to set all of us granddaughters up with our waiter.  She said that he was "pretty cute."  Even a year later, one of the local newspapers posted a photo of the staff from the restaurant and she found that same waiter's face in the crowd.  (Oie.)

Years ago, we'd have tea parties with all of the girls of the family for Grammie's birthday. She had this calendar china set with all of the months in the year.  She would set the table with the china and each guest would have her own birth month.  Luckily for me, I was the only November baby so I always got my birth month set.  When we sold Grammie's house last year, I made sure that Daddy grabbed my November china setting.

Grammie loved her scallops.  She would tell me stories about how she once lived in Boston while I was living there during college.  Once she helped me with a school project and showed me how we're related to Benjamin Franklin.  Yes, that Ben Franklin.  (Ok so it's through marriage, but it's still pretty cool.)  
She loved those singing and dancing plush that they sell at Christmastime.  We've got quite a collection of skiing snowmen, Santa singing in a bathtub and plenty more that we gave her throughout the years.  Grammie loved the family camp, but would never swim in the lake.  Instead she'd watch all of us grandkids play in the water from the porch.  She got quite the kick out of us being silly and splashing each other.  She loved butterflies on anything and everything.  She hated lobsters but still bought some with Grampie ever year for our family lobster feed at camp. And Grammie loved the Red Sox and Celtics and followed every game, even right up until the past few weeks.

I'm thankful for all of these wonderful memories, and for many, many more.

I really wanted to write this, and I thank you for allowing me a space to write out my thoughts.  It has helped me process and reflect throughout the day.  I'm probably going to take a few days off from blogging.  We're having a service for Grammie this spring when the weather is better.  But I've actually been planning for months on going to Boston this weekend with Eliot and Katie to visit our friends Nico and Anthony.  After speaking with my parents, they've told me that is what Grammie would want me to do, so I'm going to go and try to have a good time in Boston.  I'm thinking that a change of scenery will be nice in this never ending winter.

Finally, I want to thank you all for reading my blog, bringing me joy and for making me smile.  All of your kind words about my monthly printable calendars, all of the "likes" on Facebook and all of your encouragement with my new Etsy business means so much to me. Disney fans truly are the most kind, wonderful, joyful and fun people out there.  When I'm having a sad moment, I know that I can try to focus on the happiness, the kindness and the joy that Disney and it's community brings me.  I thank you all sincerely for that.

I guess this is goodbye for now Grammie.  I will miss you.  I love you so very much.  °o°