We have some closure. We have sort of closed a chapter. Or tied a ribbon on a present. We celebrated my grandmother this weekend. We cried some. We laughed a lot. We drank even more. It was exactly the way she would have wanted it to be (except for her not being there). We toasted her. I managed to give a speech, albeit slightly teary. We sorted through 40 years of stuff. It was cathartic. And emotional. And fun. And it needed to happen. Exactly the way it happened.
I still miss her like crazy. I still have trouble believing she's just not here anymore. But here's the thing. What she left behind? The family she helped create? The love that we share? And how much closer her passing has brought us? It's all pretty awesome.
And so now we hold hard onto our memories. We remember the good. We move on. With her always in our hearts. And bits and pieces of her life scattered throughout ours.
If you're interested in what I cried my way through at the celebration, it's below. Happy Monday, friends.
My name is Corey and I’m the oldest grandchild, also the only granddaughter which makes me the favorite.
There is something safe about your grandparents house. Something comforting about knowing that there will always be neopolitan ice cream scooped into coffee mugs if you need it. That you can go there and take nothing with you because she’s got it all there. There’s something about walking through the garage into the kitchen knowing she will be in there. And that you can always go there. Always. Grandma didn’t get mad at you. She couldn’t be mad at you, even if mom and dad were. To her, we were all perfection. She loved us all unconditionally. Without a question. When my brother got a tattoo and as a result couldn’t go home for spring break, he came here. Grandma would take him. She’d take any of us. In a heartbeat. She’d hold your hand or scratch your back. Or just say ‘oh hi sweetie’ in a way that only she could. For us she was safety and comfort and unconditional love.
We are so lucky.
There is a poem that reads: A wonderful bird is the pelican whose bill will hold more than his bellican. Food for a week he can hold in his beak but I’ll be damned if I know how the hellican.
We used to stand on the balcony of the 7th floor condo they would rent in Ponce Inlet every summer and watch the pelicans fly by. She told me once she was coming back as one. That once she was gone, she'd be back, as a pelican. So the next time you go to my grandmother’s favorite place on the planet, the beach take a moment and watch the pelicans soar. Watch them effortlessly glide through the air above the waves. Marvel at their beak first plummets into the water. And remember the woman we celebrate here tonight. Because she’s up there, soaring. And telling us all to stop making such a fuss over her and enjoy the beer.
Please, raise your glass to our grandmother who couldn’t have loved us more if she tried… We hope the greens are well manicured. That the sand soft between your toes. And that your happy hours are spent alongside Umpah with cold beer and martinis on the rocks.