I know I was extremely lucky to have three grandparents live into their 90s but it still hurt to lose three in the last 18 months. My Grandma Bess hadn't been 100% herself the past two years; she was still Bess but things were getting foggier and jumbled after a series of strokes. She was always fiercely independent and I know she wouldn't have wanted to stay in a perpetual state of time confusion where her past memories intermingled with her new future.
She had a flair for the dramatic and decided, after another suspected stroke, that 92 years was enough. Not just anyone dies on their birthday, so I like to think she at least went out in style. I was able to talk to her on the phone and even though she couldn't respond I'd like to think she knew. My sister was there with her when she passed away and I know both my Mom and I were ever so grateful for that.
It may sound silly but she wasn't just my Grandma, but one of my best friends. When I was a little girl I'd put on her nightgowns and stuff my toys down her couch so I wouldn't have to leave. I remember staying up and watching The Golden Girls and Tracey Ullman Show with her, going to the pool (she tanned and gossiped while we swam) and she always had those mini boxes of cereal for us of the sugary brands my parents never bought. She doted on my sister, cousin and I.
She always without fail told me how pretty I looked when we'd Face Time. I could have a dirty ponytail and no make-up, she didn't care. She loved and adored us without question. She welcomed NotBlondeHusband the same and would tell her friends how her grandson was taller than her china cabinet. She loved and believed in us all and supported each of us.
I've written before about how she was the original Carrie Bradshaw and I know my Mom, sister and myself all got our passion for fashion from her. Bright red nailpolish and lipstick will always remind me of her and I'm so lucky to have two of her rings--one for myself and one for Baby Girl when she is older. She loved sparkle and I know she wouldn't want any of her rings to sit away in a drawer not worn.
I've rambled on a bit here but to be honest I didn't get much time to work through any of this. When I heard she wasn't going to get better NotBlondeHusband left work early and drove Baby Girl and I to Edinburgh to the US consulate to get her an emergency passport as Jewish funerals happen as soon as possible. While we were there my Grandmother passed away and as soon as we got back in Glasgow I booked a flight home for the next morning.
Flying with a newborn isn't as bad as you'd think but that's a post for another time. I'm so lucky to have had such a wonderful, loving, honest and funny woman in my life. I have so many wonderful memories and funny Bess stories that I will always keep close to my heart.
She once told me that bitches live forever, so we had nothing to worry about. She just didn't realize she was nothing of the sort. I love you Bessala and while I'm glad you don't have to live with one foot in the past and one in the present any more, I still am going to miss you more than anything. I'm so glad to have had you in my life as long as I did, but I just wish we could have kept you for a little bit more.
11/4/22 - 11/4/14