Some of you know that my DH and I flew to New England last Wednesday for a 10-day trip to visit his family. We were there only two days when my mother called with horrible news; my much-loved grandmother died Friday morning, two months to the day after my grandfather.
If this had happened six weeks ago, none of us would have been surprised. She had been frail all spring and my grandpa's decline and death took a lot out of her. But in recent weeks she was bouncing back and looking and sounding healthier than she had in three years. I talked to her right before we left for our trip and she was making jokes and was very excited about her new, smaller apartment and her plans with friends and family.
One of my aunts found her on Friday morning. She apparently died as she was trying to get out of bed. The partially read book on her nightstand was Mitch Albom's, "The Five People You Meet in Heaven."
We flew to Detroit on Saturday and the funeral was Sunday, then DH and I stayed until Tuesday to be with family.
The nine grandchildren called her Bobi (bubbie), which is Yiddish for grandmother. Helen raised four daughters and helped her first husband build his furniture business. After my grandpa died in 1971, when I was an infant, she lived alone for seven years and then married my second grandpa, a widower she met at her apartment complex. They ran a gift and jewelry store together and enjoyed 27 years of marriage before he died in May.
I will miss her terribly. This past week has made me so grateful for family, both my own and my husband's. That Friday night, my DH's sister and her family drove out to see us and helped distract me with conversation. I also had my 11-month-old nephew to cuddle and play with. Later, at my aunt's house in Detroit, I was surrounded by relatives (we have a large extended family and many of them live in Detroit) and we all leaned on each other for support and, literally, cried on each other's shoulders. My grandpa's funeral and shiva were sad, but he was very ill and in pain and ready to die. This was different. My grandmother lived to be 85 and we are happy that she lived such a long and happy life, but we were not quite prepared to let her go. I will miss her terribly.
Thanks for listening.