Remembering Great

Ahhh, where to start on this post.  It's one for the past week I've been meaning to write and just frankly just didn't want to.  So I put it off, and then figured today would be a good day to finish it and hit publish.

Just over a week ago my grandma (or "Great" as she was referred to most recently) passed away.  She was 87 years old and lived a very full life.  The past 6 months had been rough on her; her health and heart steadily declining, and then in the early morning of August 31st she finally took her last breath and left this Earth.  Although now I know she's probably happier than ever, reunited with my grandpa (who died suddenly of a heart attack in his sleep 25 years ago) and playing endless card games up there, we still miss her.

Just a week before she died we were able to go visit her with my brothers and the kiddos.  I'm so glad we went; Grandma was weak but her mind, as always, was sharp as ever.  She was so excited to be having another great-grandkid (she's got 21 grandkids and 18 (and counting!) great ones!) on the way.  We talked for a while about what's been going on, the kids, Jeopardy (her favorite show!), and the Cardinals.  I think she knew she was dying but held strong for us and the kids so none of us broke down and cried.

Patrick really loved Great and going to see her (he is just so good with old people; he loves seeing Goose at The Pond and all of her friends there too!).  I know he'll miss her.  He was so good at her wake and funeral -- going up to the casket, telling her he loved her and goodbye, and then telling us to be quiet because "Great is sleepin'."  I know it's hard for a 3 year old to comprehend what's going on, but I think he kinda "got it" with what we did the past couple days.

After her wake on Tuesday night (the kids were at my in-laws) Mike and I decided to go to one of Grandma's most favorite spots: Steak 'n Shake for dinner.  I always remember going there with Grandma throughout the years, especially after we'd go to the movies together, so it was only fitting we go have a steakburger in memory of her.

Her funeral and services were most of the day yesterday.  It was such a nice service for her; the Bishop even came in to do her mass!  I'm sure she was smiling down on that -- she LOVED her Catholic community and of her many activities she was involved in up until her death.  All of the grandkids and great grandkids got a rose and we went up right before communion to put them in a big vase for her.  I wish I'd have gotten a pic of all of the flowers together -- there were SO MANY.  So many lives Grandma helped create, touched, and shape over her 87 years of life.  Not going to lie, I was crying then and I'm crying now remembering this.  It was truly a special moment.

I don't have many pics from yesterday (it just feels weird to snap pics at a funeral!) but had a couple of the kids looking very coordinating for the service and then Rosie devouring one of the 27 cupcakes she got her piglet paws on at the luncheon.

Anyways, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite over the years with Grandma.  Holding on to the good memories and times we had with her now that she's gone.  And, as I posted on Facebook yesterday, it wasn't "goodbye" we were saying, but "see ya later."  I love pictures, and what a better way to end my remembering Great post than with some snaps of her.  See you later Grandma, we miss and love you always.

Rest easy Grandma.  Tell Grandpa I said hi.

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