Early yesterday morning, my mom and dad called me to let me know that my grandmother, Mimi, passed away peacefully during her sleep Saturday night.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know how much Mimi means to me. She was the matriarch of my mother’s side of the family and was always the spunkiest member of the bunch. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that I will no longer hear her stories and contagious laughter or feel the warmth of her hugs or taste one of her homemade sugar cookies.
This morning, I find myself sitting here, feeling the weight of losing Mimi, unsure what to really do with myself. When emotions have overwhelmed me in the past, one thing helps me work through everything and that is writing. So today I am writing a letter to Mimi, my beautiful grandmother.
I love you. I miss you.
I miss the smell of your house. I miss watching you add an item to one of your many lists, your handwriting a perfect cursive that reflected your incredible artistic ability. I miss watching you spread jelly on your English muffin at the breakfast table in your silk floral robe. You somehow always managed to look glamorous at 7 a.m.
I miss the way you would use the words “tickled to death” to express your excitement over anything that brought you joy. I miss the way you would light up whenever you’d tell stories about Papa and the love you two shared. I know he was so happy to see you, the mother of his children, in heaven on Father’s Day yesterday.
When I learned of your passing, the tears came immediately. I couldn’t stop them, but I was surprised when I also couldn’t stop all of the happy memories that came flooding to the forefront of my mind. These memories only made me cry harder but they also left me with a feeling of comfort. I had 30 years with you. Thirty years with a grandmother who could not have loved her daughters or grandchildren more. Thirty years with a grandmother who absolutely could not wait to become a great grandmother for the first time.
Your reaction to the news of our baby is one of the most joyous memories I have of you. I will never forget the way your hands shot into the air or the squeal of delight that came from your lips when you learned you were going to be a great grandmother to a baby boy.
I wish with all my heart that you could have met our baby, but I will be forever grateful for the baby shower you and Aunt Laurie threw for me two weeks ago. You were surrounded by your family. Your sister, your daughters, your nieces and grandchildren and so much love and laughter!
You are at the center of so many family memories. Big Thanksgiving dinners at your house, served on your best dishes. Family Christmases in Gettysburg and long evening chats in your family room – you in your chair and Papa in his. A scotch on the rocks sitting on the table next to you, of course. Sanibel Island vacations and gigantic seafood dinners at McT’s and Gramma Dot’s.
We have so many memories together, Mimi, and I treasure all of them.
One story you loved to tell was a story about the time when you called my parents’ house to speak to my mother when I was very young and I answered the phone. You would laugh when you spoke of how I talked and talked to you for the longest time before you eventually asked, “Julie, where are you?” My reply? “In the closet.” Apparently I took the phone in the closet to hide because I wanted lots of uninterrupted time to talk to you. I crave that time right now, but part of me knows I can still talk to you whenever I want.
From what we’ve been told, you passed away peacefully in your sleep. I hope you were dreaming wonderful dreams. You’ve given me so many wonderful memories and served as a pillar of strength and love in our family for as long as I can remember. A social butterfly, through and through, I know you will be missed by more people than you can possibly imagine.
Count me at the very, very top of that list.
I love you, Mimi.
With love always,