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Jul. 8th, 2005

My grandmother - Josephine, Jo, or Grandma as she was almost always called by me - passed away yesterday. She was 87 years old, says dad, although she never talked about her age, not ever. When we celebrated her birthday it was always unstated. The impression this left on me was less "it's bad to get old" and more "my family are weirdly secretive". Somehow the secretive gene didn't get passed down to me; or perhaps that's my dad's genes talking. Either way, my grandmother kept her cards close. She did like to hear about what I was up to, and I definitely didn't provide her with that often enough. Like I said to my parents, often in your Big Plans for Having an Important Life you forget about what it means to put physical distance between you and your family. Naturally that means different things to different people; to me it means a certain sadness for my family has always been kind to me.

Grandma sold real estate. I have mentioned it to some of you before, but my family on my mother's side was hip deep in the real estate business. She even had her own agency for a while; I distinctly remember going to the office there and enjoying playing with the office supplies and typing on the typewriters way on back in the 80s. My memory of anything before I was 20 is completely hazy - I have a terrible memory - and that's getting right frustrating right now. I can remember settings... I can remember small physical details about every room in the house my grandparents lived in most of my life. I remember that she'd read to me when I'd have to stay over because my dad was on a 6 month "cruise" for the Navy and my mom was at the Thalhimer's selling fine jewelry. As I got older, first my sullen teenagerdom, and then my big plans got in the way of being able to see that it would have been good to try to talk to grandma more, to try to draw her out and enjoy her company. Or maybe I didn't understand until recently the fundamental things about life, like sometimes your elders really have been through a bunch of things you might be interested to hear about and they might be interested to tell you.

Hopefully this weekend sparks more memories for me, and reveals a little more about who she was, before things started to go poorly.

Comments

( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
ubet_cha
Jul. 8th, 2005 02:18 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry for your loss and think its great you are trying to learm more of your family history.
salami_salome
Jul. 8th, 2005 02:18 pm (UTC)
You and your family have my heartfelt condolences.
daisydumont
Jul. 8th, 2005 02:21 pm (UTC)
my sympathies, kim. i hope more memories do occur to you. memories of my grandmother mean so much to me.
angela_la_la
Jul. 8th, 2005 02:21 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry to hear this.

I think it is great that you had an excellent role model growing up, though: a female business owner. My grandma owned a business too (she and her sister were tailors). I hope you get to share a lot more stories with your family over the weekend. I've ended up feeling much closer to my family over the past few years just by sitting down and having long conversations about what all the relatives I didn't get a chance to know were like.
thus_spoke_zara
Jul. 8th, 2005 02:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, Kim. I'm so sorry. You're in my thoughts, sweets.
My Gram died a few years ago and I'm still in denial to the point that I can remember neither the time of year nor how many years ago she died.
dazzedelf
Jul. 8th, 2005 02:43 pm (UTC)
*hugs*
traceracer
Jul. 8th, 2005 02:49 pm (UTC)
I'm really sorry. I'm thinking of you and if you need anything at all, let me know.
soft_pieces
Jul. 8th, 2005 02:52 pm (UTC)
Hugs )))))))))))))))))))))))
koira
Jul. 8th, 2005 02:52 pm (UTC)
Oh dear
I hope your memory proves fruitful.

I am sorry for your loss.
fancymcsnazsnaz
Jul. 8th, 2005 03:10 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry, Kim. Love to you and your family.
rob_donoghue
Jul. 8th, 2005 03:17 pm (UTC)
Sorry for your loss, but luck with the memories.
lemonruss
Jul. 8th, 2005 03:17 pm (UTC)
You have my condolences and I'm sorry for your loss.
asimplelife
Jul. 8th, 2005 03:40 pm (UTC)
When my grandmother died, I beat myself up for all the times I didn't have time to spend with her, or the times I cut her stories short when I was too busy being a teenager. My heart gets heavy thinking about it even now, because I wish I could remember half of the things she told me, or the things we did together. I was practically raised by my grandmother and all I have are these pictures of memory, pictures that seemed to be taken from a full-length film I had seen, but that now I can't recall. I feel like a piece of history has been lost because of my lack of attention.

Hopefully you will have lots of memories flooding back this weekend. Good thoughts flowing your way for you and your family.
examorata
Jul. 8th, 2005 03:55 pm (UTC)
I know we've spoken about this, but I wanted to take a moment to offer condolences again. I'm sure this weekend - pictures, talking, sharing memories - will help with your own memories of times with your grandma. My best wishes to your family and take as long as you need. I've got the cat thing under control. =)
panicsyndrome
Jul. 8th, 2005 04:18 pm (UTC)
That sucks, I'm sorry.

I have one grandma left, and I've been trying to write down all the stuff she tells me about while hanging around, basically because I know my memory sucks and after she's not there to tell me stories anymore, I'll want to remember them.

I hope your memory's better than mine. :)
crafting_change
Jul. 8th, 2005 05:04 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry for you and your family's loss right now. She sounds like a lovely lady, if a bit quiet.

You'd be surprised what comes back. When my Grandmother passed on all sorts of memories became significant and expanded.

chelidon
Jul. 8th, 2005 05:44 pm (UTC)
Ah, dear, I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. May your rememberances be sweet, and your time with your family healing for you all.
mountainwitch
Jul. 8th, 2005 07:37 pm (UTC)
Forgotten Rooms
I'm very sorry to hear it. You might keep a little discreet notebook nearby over the next week or two, and if you do tap into those memories, try to write them down. The act will almost invariably lead you to more memories. It's like pulling at wiregrass, or maybe just entering a long series of chambers, like a nautilus. One will lead to another, and the work will be something to keep, maybe even share one day with your family.

I'll be thinking of you and your family.
kazoogrrl
Jul. 8th, 2005 09:30 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear about your grandma. I know what you mean - now that I am older, I feel that I really am adult enough to appreciate my grandparents, but they are all gone. Take care, sweetie.
castironskillet
Jul. 8th, 2005 11:46 pm (UTC)
Hugs and stuff! Thanks for posting this.
mcoletti
Jul. 9th, 2005 01:00 am (UTC)
Ouchies. You've my condolences. :'(
schpahky
Jul. 9th, 2005 01:56 am (UTC)
Oh Kim, I'm so sorry.
my_catharsis
Jul. 9th, 2005 05:56 am (UTC)
I'm very sorry for your loss... but I'm glad that you have the good memories of her. *hugs*
msteleute
Jul. 9th, 2005 07:08 am (UTC)
Oh no! Condolences to your family.
ex_nostradom25
Jul. 10th, 2005 09:31 pm (UTC)
:/
I'm so sorry for your loss.
lexykahn
Jul. 13th, 2005 12:30 pm (UTC)
...
wow...sorry to hear about your grandmother. you beat me to the friends add! I went home, took more cough syrup and pretty much passed out. Here is the address of the curves I go to:

7500 Montpelier Road
Montpelier Center
Laurel, MD 20723
301-725-8222

My email at work is Alexis.Thompson@lennar.com
snidegrrl
Jul. 13th, 2005 03:06 pm (UTC)
Re: ...
thanks! i hope you are feeling better. glad you came out last night it was good to meet you!
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

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