A belated Happy Thanksgiving to you all. How was your holiday?
Ours was... a different sort. J's grandmother passed away on Thanksgiving night. Joyce had been struggling for the past seven months in a nursing and rehab facility. She was 91.
J's grandfather and mother spent most of the holiday shuffling back and forth to the home. We did manage to sit down for a delicious meal in the early evening (cooked mostly by J's multi-talented sister, although I did peel the most magnificent potatoes you have ever seen). J ate about a billion pounds of stuffing, and we headed out around 8:30, ready to retreat to our respective couches, bellies full and distended.
About five minutes into our drive, we got the call.
It wasn't a surprise; in some ways, the family has been preparing for Nana's passing for the better part of this year. But when death does come, no matter how prepared you are, it always hits like a hard wallop to the face.
Joyce lived a very long life, most of them with Dominick, her husband of 67 years. J and I stopped at the nursing home earlier in the day to say goodbye and comfort his bereaved grandfather.
When we were back in the car, J said, "He said something to me that was so great. I told myself I have to remember it, and of course now I can't."
"You'll think of it soon," I told him.
The next morning, J found me in the bathroom.
"I remembered what it was," he said. "He told me, 'You know, I think I loved her from the first moment I laid eyes on her.'"
Sixty-seven years, and two beautiful role models for love, loyalty, affection, and devotion. I think, even in sadness, we can all be grateful for that.