A few weeks ago, on September 29, I lost my Grandma Asher to a stroke. She was a wonderful woman who loved me in spite of my faults. I was not the best granddaughter. I didn't call often enough, or write often enough, but when I did, she was always happy to hear from me. On the rare occasion when I would call, she would always get on the phone with "Hello? Valencia? This is Grandma." in that voice of hers that always sounded a little unsure of itself. I loved to hear her voice and her laugh.
I think that in spite of everything, she had a good life. She was always on the go, even at home. I remember when I was staying with them for a few months after I graduated, she almost never sat down except to eat. She couldn't understand how I could sit and read for hours without getting up. She was always working, or cooking, or cleaning, or straightening, or just making sure that everyone in her family had everything that they could possibly need at their fingertips. I think that my Grandpa Asher might possibly have been the most spoiled husband on earth. And she enjoyed every minute of that spoiling. She was happiest in the kitchen in one of her aprons making coffee for everyone. (You want to see some people drink coffee, get the Ashers together. They'd make a Starbucks run out of coffee in a few short hours.) You see, she had the heart of a servant. You know, that heart of a servant that Jesus calls all of us to have? She was born with it. No one around her ever lacked for anything if it was in her power to provide it.
Since her death, I never leave my house without some piece of her jewelry on. When I did forget one day, I almost panicked. Will I forget her if I'm not wearing something in remembrance? Certainly not, but I have no control over it. My husband adored my Grandma, and she adored him. He was so distraught that he couldn't go to her funeral, but it was not possible for him to. My son Marc has many memories of her, as well. They were both so off-kilter while I was in Idaho, that they took it out on each other. After one argument, David went to our bedroom and slammed the door while Marc went out the front door and slammed it. He broke 3 panes of glass when he did it. They were going to keep it from me, but Marc called to 'fess up and apologize. Isn't it funny what grief does to each of us in different ways?
In the weeks since her death, I've found myself in tears quite often. The Sunday after I got back to Virginia, I attended the first Mass since her funeral Mass in Idaho. I cried almost the entire time. There are certain things that are constant in every Mass, no matter what it is being said for. Those similarities had me coming undone. When my son PJ called me from school last Wednesday in tears saying that he didn't feel good, I assumed he was sick. I immediately rushed to get him only to arrive and find out that he was heartsick. He hadn't seen Grandma since he was 5, but it suddenly hit him that he wouldn't see her again in this world. So I still signed him out and took him with me. We talked about it a little, and he started to feel better. I, on the other hand, felt my grief anew.
I've stayed very busy since I got home, and haven't had the time to just sit and remember. My subconcious has been very much preoccupied with Grandma, however. I dream about her funeral, although not always the one she had, almost every night. In my dreams, I keep feeling like I'm forgetting something. I wake up disturbed and regtetful that I was not better at keeping in touch while she was alive. I know that at some point, I will begin to feel more normal. I know that at some point I will only remember the good times we had, instead of the ones that I missed. I know that at some point I will stop crying at the drop of a hat. Until that point, I miss her.