This Memorial Day brought the fulfillment of a very special promise. My grandfather died 10 years ago this Easter time at the age of 93. I've missed him so much since then. When he passed, he was quite frail and often had brief moments when he did not recognize those who loved him dearly. But I will always remember when my grandpa was strong enough to pick me up and bounce me on his hip when I was little. He used to call me his "imagination maker." It was wonderful to see so much of my Gardner family again at Grandpa's funeral. Aunts, Uncles, and cousins cousins cousins! Some of us hadn't been in the same room for many years. The day after his service, several of the family made the drive to Star Valley Wyoming where Grandpa was laid to rest. It broke my heart, but I woke up very sick that morning and couldn't make the trip. Kevin promised me that one day he would take me to see my Grandpa once again.
Grandma passed away two years ago at the age of 97. And TODAY would be her 100th birthday! We're thinking of you today and always, Grandma. :)
My last experience with my Grandma on this earth is a very tender one. I was staying with family in Utah that March, 2011 and Kevin and I were undergoing our very last attempt at in vitro. My mom stayed with me for about three weeks during that time to help with Noah and with the whole process. Mom wanted to spend some time with Grandma while she was there, so she picked her up and brought her to my brother's house where we were staying. I often felt that Grandma wasn't 100% with us toward the end of her life. She didn't recognize where she was a lot of the time and she would fret and worry a lot about being away from familiar things. But as my mom took her by the arm and walked her into the house, I met Grandma face to face and said "Hi Grandma." She looked right at me, and it was like her eyes cleared. She smiled and put her hand on my face like she always did and I knew that she recognized me for a brief window of time. I knew that she was truly with me for right then. It was all I needed. :)
My mom recalls another amazing moment with Grandma during that trip and during my IVF experience. Grandma lived with my amazing uncle and aunt until she passed and Mom was there visiting one evening. She and my aunt were talking very quietly about how I was doing and how everything was going with the doctors. No one had said anything to Grandma about what I was going through or that, once again and for the last time, I was trying have a baby. When Mom said goodnight, Grandma gave her a hug and clear as day said, "Tell Nicole that it will all be okay." Mom was shocked by how lucid Grandma was and how strong her words were. I think maybe Grandma was close to passing through the veil and perhaps was even surrounded by those who have passed and those who were coming soon. :)
This May Kevin kept his promise and took us all to see Grandpa and Grandma once again. :)
And that special fulfillment would have been enough. But MY dad and mom also flew into Salt Lake City and drove up to meet us so we could go together. It was an amazing day and it couldn't have been prettier.
I was very pregnant( and SOOOOOOO ecstatic!!!) and expecting TWINS when Grandma died, so I couldn't be at her funeral. This was a beautiful day to be able to see them both and to bring my children to "meet" them. Noah remembers Grandma very fondly. And Mom hadn't been back since Grandma's grave marker was placed.
Noah wanted to bring them special cards that he'd made, and the kids each brought a butterfly for them.
Here is my Mom and her parents. When we went to leave, Mom and I both wiped away tears and she said softly, "I love you."
Noah took this picture of us!
Hopefully it won't take another 10 years to bring us back to see them again. I can't wait to have a LONG conversation with Grandma about being the mother of twins and all that it entails.
Love you, Grandpa and Grandma!
Till we meet... :)