This picture was taken of myself, with my mom, my grandmother Ruth, and Big A, when Big A was just 2 months old (so 8 years ago!). On Sunday morning we lost GG Ruth. Even though, given her age (95), we knew this day would be coming soon, it was still a shock. I think there is a part of everyone who knew her that somehow she would always be around. She was certainly a force to be reckoned with!
Even though she hasn't been herself for the past few years, she still charmed everyone she met. Each time I came to visit, the staff from the nursing home would pop in to her room to tell me just how much they adored her. Her quick wit, strength and intelligence were still evident even to those who didn't know her beforehand.
When I got the news, it felt the same way it did when my grandpa Joe died, and I was just 13 at the time. Like a punch in the gut. My grandma never really got over his death, by the way. There was some serious love between those two. Ironically, in the last few years after dementia set in, one of her delusions was that he was still alive but had run off with another woman.
Of course, my mind still keeps going back to the last time I saw her this past spring. As per usual, she slept most of the time I was there, except the last day, when she was lucid and alert for a whole hour. I will forever cherish those last moments with her. My brother, who was in NYC on Sunday when she passed away, was really lucky to get 3 good hours with her a few days before. My parents are in Europe, on their way home today, so the funeral is next Sunday. I have already booked my flights and hotel. This trip to NYC is going to be a difficult one. But I am comforted by the fact that many of my wonderful cousins are taking the time to fly in for the funeral. She was special to everyone!
Although I feel very sad, I know she had a good and long life, and that we were all very blessed to have had her in ours. I am also glad that she got to meet my children.
Here's to G.G. Ruth, a very special and amazing person, loved and admired by many. She will be dearly missed.