As much as I knew one day my grandmother would die, when it happened this morning I still wasn’t ready.
To say we were tight would be an understatement. But then again, I’m sure all my cousins would say the same thing. We were lucky in that our grandmother treated us all like we were each the most important person in the world to her.
Likewise, that’s how I’d like to think I treated her. And it was true; she did mean that much to me.
I looked forward to our almost-daily 1 p.m. conversations when I’d be going for lunch, or, when she was in Florida, at 8:30 a.m. when I’d be walking to work. I liked making her laugh, even when I knew she wasn’t feeling well. Somehow I knew what would cheer her up. Similarly, she always knew the right thing to say to me.
Bubby — that’s what I called her — lived a life full of love, both directed at her and directed from her. She was good for a laugh, good for support, good for a lot of things. She made great chocolate pudding and chocolate chip hamentashen, not to mention a sweet and tasty noodle kugel with coconut on top.
Generosity doesn’t even begin to describe her wallet or her spirit.
She was devoted to her family to the end, and when she passed away this morning, at my aunt’s house in New York, with my parents and other relatives around, it was appropriate.
I’ll always remember when Bubby asked a standing poster at a movie theater when the next show got out. Or when she tried to share a piece of cake with my grandfather when the three of us were eating at the Hard Rock Cafe in London, but instead dropped it in his lap. When we danced together to “Can’t Smile Without You” at my Bar Mitzvah. How we laughed when she told the story of dropping me when I was a baby. The way her tone of voice got more excited when I told her I went on a date (good or bad). How she could tell me I was gaining too much weight in one second, and then encourage me to have dessert in the next.
It’ll always make me smile knowing that just two days before she passed away, she had gone for a manicure.
And I think I can still hear her voice on her answering machine in Florida.
Oh, the memories.
I take a lot of comfort in the fact that I got to spend Thanksgiving with Bubby, and that she was healthy (all things considered), in good spirits, and smiling. The fact that when her health really deteriorated, it happened quickly (in just about 48 hours), is truly a blessing.
I will keep my memories of Bubby close and always remember our special times and conversations. I know that right now she is with my grandfather smiling, looking down on me, and wishing me all the best.
I already miss you, Bubby.