[a tribute to my grandma]
Today is 9 years since my grandma went Home.
She has been on my mind a lot lately, mostly because I now live by myself and whenever I cook something, I can’t help but think whether grandma would’ve approved. I even rearranged the furniture in my kitchen so it’s exactly the same way as when she was still around.
One time, she was home for the weekend from the hospital and I wanted to show her that I have learned to cook tenderized steaks. She told me that I didn’t do this right and that was wrong… I got upset with her, only to realize later that it simply bugged her that she, the main shef of our family, could not cook anymore because she didn’t have the strength. I did finish frying that meat and it turned out good.
She could whip up a whole feast out of nothing. We didn’t have a lot, but we sure had amazing food on our table – even if it mostly consisted of potatoes and buckwheat. She seemed to know a thousand and one recipe how to cook those.
She loved when we had guests over for dinner or lunch. Mostly they were from the US and she would keep trying to speak slower and louder to them, thinking that this way they would be able to understand what she was saying. In the end, they did understand each other, using the universal language – signs. (Or one of us – my mom, my cousin, or I) would translate for them.) She knew two words in English: “cat” (not sure why I taught her that) and “bye-bye” (which was the way my mom always ended the phone calls with our missionaries… The fun thing is that “bye-bye” sounds just like what parents tell the kids when they say “good night,” so grandma always teased mom “Did you put your Americans to sleep?”)
She was strong. She was the glue of the family – stronger binds than duct-tape. She was tough, but considering that I was the baby of the family and my cousin Natasha was her first grandchild, she wasn’t as tough with us as she was with her two daughters. But since my mom had to provide for our family, I got to spend more time with grandma than anyone else in the family.
She was beautiful, especially when she smiled. The picture above shows her on her wedding day. Isn’t she stunning?
Oh, I can talk about her for hours. It often seems weird that she’s not around anymore.
I see her in my dreams often. Sometimes it takes me a bit to realize that she’s gone and I ask her “But… didn’t you… you know… die?”
She smiles in reply, “Nope.”
And we both smile.
And when I wake up, the remains of a grin still stretching the corners of my mouth, I know – she isn’t gone. She’s still with me, unseen, yet like a guardian angel guiding me through life.