Written November 10th, 2018
Tonight I felt true forgiveness and the reality of God’s Grace.
I have come home every night for 9 days trying to design a meaningful card for my Grandmother who is on her last leg of life. Every night I stare at a blank canvas and struggle to add anything to it. How do you display meaning and love for a Grandmother who has never shown you any of that? All I have to work with is a couple of souvenirs from her travels, a few memories of Yahtzee games and a mountain of hurt feelings and total apathy.
How does one draw meaning from that? I have reached and reached into the inner workings of my mind and my soul to no avail.
My whole life I have set out to prove to be worthy and every success I have obtained was met with her rejection.
For years I thought it was only me…then I opened up and started to address it. Because of that I realized I had an army of loving cousins who have also experienced similar bouts of rejection. I started to heal. Healing was just a bandaid..a temporary solution to my damage.
Do we ever really heal from our wounds or do they just fade as time ticks on? I’m still not sure on that one.
I started to cry tonight out of frustration…frustration from knowing my Grandmother will die without ever, truly knowing me. Frustration from never being able to earn her approval or pride. Frustration from never, not even once feeling warmth from her embrace.
With all this resentment and ill feelings…God stopped me dead in my tracks and showed me GRACE.
My Grandmother is not an evil woman. She has lived a rich full life full of adventure and has done her part to help family, friends and even perfect strangers.
In her 96 years she has survived war, love, loss, more death than I’m sure she cared to experience, gave birth in a WWII bombing raid, traveled the World, speaks 3 languages fluently, earned a 2 masters degrees and lived a life worthy to be written in the pages of a great novel. She is a German and an American, a wife, mother, friend, teacher, athlete, daredevil, a critical bitch, an adventurer, but mostly my Grandmother is just a person.. a not so perfect, makes mistakes, fallible human being.
Her words or lack of will have always stung, but I have found forgiveness…true forgiveness.
Although she has not left a legacy of love towards the majority of her children and grandchildren, I choose to love and accept her no matter how difficult it is to swallow.
God showed me the meaning of GRACE. For all I didn’t receive from Ruth, God showed me GRACE by blessing me with more love than my heart knows what to do with.
I am blessed with 3 parents whose unconditional love is sweetly showered. My family although scattered all over, we still find the time to say “love you” even if it is only a Facebook post…a loyal dog always by side to comfort…countless friends whom I have laughed, cried and who have accompanied me on more misadventures than I care to admit…teachers and mentors who have helped guide me
GRACE in all the experiences that have taken me all over the World and have expanded my mind.
And finally GRACE for Ruth, my Grandmother, my Omie Oma. The woman whom I am proud to share my middle name with.
Written December 7th 2018:
Tonight my grandmother died. I have no words. I thought I felt her, Channel #5 was was thick in the air. I was in my living room, all alone and my purse fell to the floor, and as weird as it sounds I felt her. Maybe it was grief wanting to believe she was there, I just have no idea. She and I had just started to become close. My Grandmother’s last words to me was an apology in her own way. “You are so nice to me after how we treated you. I wish I had spent more time with you.” That meant the world to me. I made her this video with poem I wrote for her before she died.
July 4th, 2020
I am glad my Omie is not here to see the World unravel. She hated Trump and he stressed her out reminding her of when Hitler started to take over Germany. I miss her deeply more than I can imagine.
I keep thinking of my most precious time with my Omie. I was taking care of her for a week, while my dad recovered from hip surgery. She took sleeping pills and if she wasn’t in bed in time she started to hallucinate and see little elfs all around her. One night it was just the two of us. She started telling me one of the elfs was trying to kiss me on the cheek, she was just giggling away. I played along and let this imaginary elf chase me all around the living room, as I watched my Grandmother laugh with all her might. After a good 20 minutes of pretending to see her little elfs, I guided her to bed. She took my hand and said, “thank you.” I responded that us having a relationship is better late than never. She nodded her head, as she fell asleep. I pulled the cover up, tucked her in, then turned off the lamp. I looked back with the hall light gleaming upon her face and smiled. It was the single most touching moment with my Grandmother. I am so thankful for that.
I understand her more now that she is gone, more than I ever could when she was alive. We are a lot alike. Maybe it’s age, maybe my heart is more open, whatever it is, I’m so grateful to remember the good times and to ignore the pain. I miss her German accent, that only the family could understand. I will miss her stories of the Old Country. She was strong, sturdy, and the kindest woman when it came to animals. Her hopes for our family is to be good citizens, and I will honor her by doing the best I can. My scares have healed and I guess had to bend and break to know love.
I finally got her approval, it came late, but it arrived on it’s own time.
Every blog will feature a song that reminds me of these memories. Music has been a huge part of my existence.