In these last few weeks, I’ve had to tell a couple of people that my grandma passed away, and every single time I’ve said these words, its meaning has sounded hallow in my head. It sounded like just some distant person I am related to had passed on. But the words “my grandmother” don’t even come close to describing how much she meant to me.
She was more than just a grandmother to me; She was my friend; the central hub of our family, the keystone in the arch, the foundation of our lives. I remember the way she would always say thank you for the minutest help, the way she would always shower us with spoken words of blessings and good fortunes. I remember the way she would cry out our names one after the other and tell us that we would never be in the same position as she was before her demise. My grandmother carried a huge cross on earth, one a lot of people could never wish upon their worst enemies, and she fought relentlessly to the end.
She taught me a lot about strength and endurance. Sometimes mine, but most often, it was in her strength that I learned the most from; living through pain and discomfort with a shrug and a smile, renouncing every illness with spitfire vigor, and her ceaseless plans for future activities. And when her sickness grew worse, in spite of constant medical attention, we all worried so much about her. But she worried more about us instead, consoling us with the hopes of a much happier time to come. And even as her body grew weaker, I saw her become even stronger in faith for an impending turn around. My grandma never stopped seeing the world through our eyes even when she wasn’t strong enough to walk and talk.
She taught us a lot about love and the meaning of family. It was in the way she showered her unconditional love for everyone around her; the way she liked to know everything about everyone she loved. It was in her selfless zeal for togetherness. To her, family was not just genetic, it was a feeling of love and unity.
And as I watched the resignation of her body, I wept for a woman that once was, a woman that once shone brighter than her peers. I wept even more when I watched her peer into the mirror, staring at the shards of a once beautiful woman. But even at these times, she would make a joke and go ahead to tell an overly exaggerated story of how beautiful she used to me. She always saw the silver lining in places we never thought we could. She would always find a way to light up the room with her sarcasm and non-constructive criticisms. My grandma wasn’t always the easiest to understand, but she was always the easiest to love. And with her smiles of hope and happy cheer, and her love, so filling that it could raise the dead, and with a heart, so open to size the world, she has been chosen to go create a better place for us in Heaven.
My grandma lived her glorious days on earth, and now she has gone to spend everlasting peace and joy in the arms of God. Her departure has broken us, even brought us to tears, but I know that wherever she is right now, she would want us to pick up these broken wings and learn to fly without her.
On Saturday the 11th of July, 2015, an absolute gem passed on. Mama, a woman of enormous virtue, a woman filled with the unending love and happiness of a wife, daughter, sister, mother and grandmother. May your loving soul rest in perfect peace. Amen.