A few weeks ago, my grandmother died. It was sad, but it was also a relief. She was born in 1907. She was 103 years old. All of her friends were gone. All of her loved ones were gone, including her husband and her daughter (my mom). Her half brother and I were pretty much all she really had left, and she no longer knew who I was. So in a way, it was a release. She's free, and that makes me feel a lot better than thinking of her lonely and afraid in her confusion.
Her half brother is handling the probate of her will and estate, and it's a long process I think. But a few days ago, they sent me two boxes of photos and letters my grandmother kept all these years, and it was like buried treasure. She kept and I received lots of pictures of my mother, for example -- my mom as a baby, a shot of her from junior high, her 1950 high school graduation announcement, her prom picture, her wedding book. There were also pictures of me as a baby, pictures of my babies she'd kept close to her heart all those years.
So while I miss having my grandmother in this life, I feel reconnected to her now, because of the keepsakes they passed on to me, from her. Odd to feel closer, with her so infinitely far away.
Not much point to all this, other than to say love your loved ones, every minute, every day. You'll miss saying it as they listen, once they're gone and such affections can only be imagined.
Thanks, MiMi, for being my grandmother. I'm glad I knew and loved you for so long.