Friday, September 2, 2016

The last of my ladies


My childhood memories contain my parents, of course, but they also contain women I have come to refer to as my ladies (see this post titled In My Grandmothers' Houses) - caregivers when my mom went back to work  after having me, and every year until I went to school, then summers and before/after school until I was old enough to stay home. I never went to daycare or pre-K. I went to my grandmothers' houses.

My Grandmom worked, so those duties were split among Mom-Mom (my great Grandmom) and Gamma while Grandmom was up the street to see after school and to take me to church on Sundays. Mom-Mom has been gone since I was 18. Grandmom died in December 2012, and Gamma passed away peacefully in her sleep around 2 am on Tuesday night. The last of my ladies to physically walk the earth has gone home. 

What a blessed thing to have had all of them for as long as I did. As I got older, I saw them all less, as life happens to us and around us. No matter, though...they left their mark on me in my formative years. 

I cried on the way to the shore on Wednesday afternoon. I felt adrift. Then I felt strangely happy because they are not only all around me, they are largely responsible for the pieces that make me who I am.

Mom-Mom gave me my love of soup and vegetables, my appreciation of independence and feminism, my steel spine, and my fuck it if you don't like it attitude.

To Grandmom I owe my knowledge that the only way through it is through it,  my need for organization and order, and my utter delight in the little things. 

From Gamma I learned that your friends are your family, the library is your lifeline, treasures are found in used paperback book stores, Ocean City is home, and that involvement in your community and volunteering gives you way more than you put out. Thank you, Gamma. Rest in peace.
All of these things are such a huge part of who I am and will continue to be. Not only do they never leave us, they live on in us. 

26 comments:

  1. So sorry for your loss. That sounds like an amazing childhood with so much wisdom and love imparted on you.

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  2. Beautiful Steph. Sorry for your loss, But happy for your great memories that you will have forever. Happy that Gamma passed peacefully. Thank you for sharing. Peace and love.

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  3. Brava! My time with our grandchildren is priceless. Lola is you as a baby. A second chance for me. I am in awe of all the wonders of our lives. Peace of mind to a working mother that their babies are adored and loved and nurtured- you can't buy that. I had one grandmom who adored me. You had 3 times that and almost daily interaction with all. We are the richest people in the universe. My mom is home and happy. Thank you Mother and Father God! Love. Your. Momma.

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  4. Beautiful post. I'm so very sorry for your loss. May you find comfort in your beloved memories of Gramma.

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  5. Although I was not lucky enough to have had close relationships with my grandmothers I do have some very good memories. If my daughter ever has children and relocates, I will follow her and relocate too as I want to be part of my grandchildren's lives in a way that matters. Even if she moves where there is snow!

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  6. A very beautiful post! I didn't have as many amazing women around, but my mom is quite special...my niece is two and my mom and her have such a bond, and I hope she always thinks this way about her. I'm sorry for your loss, friend. xo

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  7. I'm so sorry for your loss, but how blessed that you were able to grow up with such lovely ladies. Beautiful tribute.

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  8. So sorry for your loss, sending lots of hugs. This post was so sweet though and they will for sure live on through you :)

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  9. I'm so sorry for your loss. It sounds like these 3 left a huge mark on your life. I feel the same about my great grandma and grandma and who I am because of them.

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  10. Oh gosh... i'm sorry for the loss.
    Grandmas are such precious people in our lives. When we loose them, the hold is there but the memories live on so much. I miss my grandmothers so fiercly but still to this day see things in me that they taught me to do & a lot of the person I am is because of them. They do live on in you to sound very Lion King.

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  11. I'm so sorry for you loss, Steph. It sounds like all these women left behind some key personality traits and wisdom in you. How fortunate to have had all three of them in your life!

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  12. A beautiful post! How special to have those women in your life!

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  13. I am sorry for your loss, what a blessing though to have had such wonderful women in your life!

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  14. Well this makes me sad. I'm so sorry for your loss, but the way you pay tribute to these ladies is uplifting. May you find peace and comfort for the years to come in your memories. Hugs to you.

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  15. Such a beautiful tribute to some amazing wonder women in your life. Peace and hugs, my friend.

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  16. What a lovely tribute, Stephanie, to what sounds like some amazing women. I'm sorry for your loss.

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  17. I'm so sorry for your loss! I love what you said that they live on in us and I think that's 100% true!

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  18. So sorry for your loss. Sounds like these were some wonderful ladies who taught you valuable things! You were lucky to have them and I'm sure you made them proud!

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  19. Beautiful words! Grandmothers are so special! hugs!

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  20. I'm so sorry for your loss, friend. I completely agree-they never ever leave us.

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  21. Apologies for the late comment but so sorry for your loss! Hold on to the amazing memories <3

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  22. It's so hard losing such a beloved role model and mentor in your life! I still grieve. My warmest condolences to you. I'm sure spending time at the shore reflecting and absorbing things brought back so many great memories and those will stay with you forever. xo

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  23. I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my grandmother on Friday and damn did it suck. Nothing I can say will ease the pain, but know your memories will last forever. Hugs and love to you!!

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  24. oh Steph, I am so sorry for your loss. all of your ladies sound amazing, and even more amazing that they are such a large part of who you are.

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