May 25, 2005

An empty chair

Despite my happiness at getting married, this time is actually quite bittersweet. On February 5, 2005, my grandma passed away after being ill for a couple of months. She was in and out of the hospital twice, but we really didn't think that her illness would result in her death at the age of 86.

Her death was a shock to me, because I never imagined that I would get married without her being there. Derek and I were not engaged formally at the time she died, but she knew our engagement was coming. I have some comfort in the fact that she knew Derek before she passed away, but my wedding day won't be the same without her there.

I have always been extremely close to my grandma. I was her first grandchild, and she always referred to me as "her pride and joy". There may have been a little bit of favoritism thrown my way, but she truly loved and enjoyed all three of her grandchildren. We were her life, and as the mother of two sons, she thought of us as her three daughters.

One would think that perhaps my mom and grandma would have endured a little competition for our affection, with both of them being so devoted to us, but there was never one ill word said between them. My grandma loved my mom as though she was her own daughter, and my mom loved my grandma as though she were her mom. This close relationship between all of the important women in my life means that now there is an empty space in our family. My grandma was the heart of the family, the instigator of get-togethers, and the one person any of us could turn to for advice or a shoulder to cry on.

Next fall, when Derek and I get married, there will be an empty chair in the front row where my grandma would have sat. I won't let anyone else sit there, because no one could ever take her place.

Posted by tsch0020 at May 25, 2005 2:57 PM