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So Thankful.

Saturday afternoon, my husband and I did away with our usual late-morning gym and lounging plans for the day. Instead, we spent the entire day with my grandparents and my parents, as a Valentine’s Day celebration. I have never been so thankful for anything in my life – that I spent one of my grandmother’s last days with her.



We had a late lunch at Houlihans, who, by the way, had a fabulous new menu. I ordered fried pickles and french fries with gravy as my meal – probably not the most lady-like item on the menu. It was the simple things that day that I remember so vividly – her buying her favorite soap at Crabtree and Evelyn, and us eating Godiva truffles that my hubby, dad, and grandpa had waited in the treacherous pre-Valentine’s Day line just to buy for us. We walked through Talbots – her favorite store – and Williams Sonoma – my favorite store. That evening after we drove back to their house, we relaxed while I layed on her couch before leaving.



I have spoke so much of Mother Lovett on my blog. Writing about her comes easily to me.



It has been hard for me to even find the words to write about my other grandmother, because even speaking about her the last few years has choked me up. Perhaps it is because I am reluctantly growing up and realizing what she means to me. Perhaps it is because she has just been too perfect for words.



This morning when I recieved the call, it was like all breath had been taken from me. I had a relationship with her that was unlike any other I share with anyone else. She was mine. Growing up, she was my favorite person on Earth. She was my favorite everything. At the time, it was because she was pretty, younger than Mother Lovett, and did fun things. As I grew older, I learned than she wasn’t just pretty, young, and fun – she was an amazing and strong woman.



I know that is said about many women, especially after they pass away. I wish I could express how different the word means here. She was the most selfless person I knew, next to my dad – who learned it from her. While I am very grateful that I got all of this time with her, my heart is completely broken. I wish I could find more words.



My grandfather found her peacefully this morning after 57 years of marriage. 57 years. Fifty-seven.

They were the perfect example of a strong, loving marriage. Growing up, I wanted what they had. I wanted the love that I saw in the marriage. I wanted the companionship, the respect, the service, and the passion. The minute my husband met them, he saw it, too. He wants it, too. They took care of each other. They lived for each other.



I want her grace. Her class. I want to carry myself the way she carried herself. I want her beauty. I want her unwavering faith.


Most of all, I just want to hear her voice. Just one last time. Her voice was so soothing to me. As I sit here now, holding a scarf that smells like her, I’m afraid I will forget her voice. She always gave the best advice, usually when it wasn’t asked for. She would speak softly and tell it like it is. When I spent months complaining about our apartment that I hated, she told me to stop. Who is going to remind me to stay strong for my husband, especially in the tough times?



I know she knew how I felt about her. I just wish I would have told her more. I told everyone else – anyone who would listen, but I didn’t tell her. So many times I thought about sending her a little note in the mail, just to know how she has changed my life. But, like so many other things in live, I failed to get around to it.


Grandma,

I just wanted to let you know what an amazing, incredible person I think you are. I love you so much. Since I have grown up and have got married, I have seen even more what a true, selfless woman you are. I have never seen someone give so much of herself to others, and ask or expect nothing in return. I hope someday to be exactly like you. I want to carry myself with class and grace, just as you do. I guess I should start by swapping my sweat pants for skirts and appreciating the smaller things in life. You are my one, true inspiration. I pray that one day I am the mother, wife and grandmother that you were to all of us. I am so very grateful to have you in my life.

Love,

Jessie



Yesterday, I commented on Pioneer Woman’s blog about how I had recently lost Mother Lovett and couldn’t imagine my life without a grandmother in it – thank goodness I still had one.



Tonight as I lay here, I have none. I have lost both in 9 months, including my husband’s grandmother who passed away last month. I don’t usually question God and I understand the circle of life. I have a pretty strong faith myself. But this has rocked me to my core. I knew it would be hard when the time came, but I thought I had 10-15 years left with her.



I have said it a million times today. I just can’t believe it. I never thought this day would come. I guess I thought putting it in writing would help me believe it, but I still can’t believe it. I can’t imagine life without her.

I know.

This too shall pass. . .

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56 Responses to “So Thankful.”

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    heather — February 16, 2010 @ 9:57 pm

    teary hugs and kisses coming your way from me, my dear.
    xoxoxo

    i am proud of you for writing this, and know that you made her proud, and you will continue to.

    you have class. you have grace. and strength, and beauty, and a life about you I can only assume you learned from these wonderful women in your life. And those will continue to grow. and more will continue to grow. as you continue to grow.

    love you, dear.

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    Ashley — February 16, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

    Hey girl. Big hugs to you! I know how hard this is, as I lost my first grandparent this past October. He passed on his 92nd bday, at home, in his sleep. He was really healthy, still walking, driving, doing yard work and golfing at least 3x per week. I couldn’t believe it came with no warning…it was hard to let go but felt so much better after I wrote a tribute to him and read most of it at his funeral. I miss him all of the time! http://www.naturalfoodlist.com/articles/ [the tribute...if you feel like doing some reading] My thoughts are with you! You were so lucky to have such an amazing influence in your life! Writing about the memories make them last forever :)

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    Ashley — February 16, 2010 @ 10:07 pm

    Whoa…sorry, NOT the right link..my apologies!!! http://edibleperspective.com/?p=1138

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    Jacquie — February 16, 2010 @ 11:38 pm

    You seriously just gave me the biggest chills as I read that. I miss my grandmother everyday, but I know she’s my angel watching over me just like Mother Lovett will do for you! <3

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    homecookedem — February 17, 2010 @ 4:42 am

    How amazing that you got to spend one of her last days with her. I know she knew how you felt about her and she is reading that letter write now in heaven.

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    homecookedem — February 17, 2010 @ 4:43 am

    right, not write

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    Nicole @ Making Good Choices — February 17, 2010 @ 5:26 am

    Still thinking of you..I know how hard this is. It never gets easier, it just gets easier to deal with. Your so lucky to have so many wonderful memories with her.

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    Heather — February 17, 2010 @ 5:28 am

    I have only just started following your blog, but I wanted to come by and say how sorry I am for your loss. No matter what or when, it is never easy to lose someone you love. I hope you find peace in the days and weeks to come, and that you can take comfort in knowing how proud your Grandmother must be of you.

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    Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg — February 17, 2010 @ 5:41 am

    Beautiful, beautiful post. I lost both of my grandfathers this last year, and I know how shocking it can be to go from having two grandparents to having none. I’m sending prayers and good thoughts your way– it sounds like she was a beautiful, amazing woman.

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    Erica — February 17, 2010 @ 5:42 am

    Such sweet words. I know you will carry all that was great about her with you and keep her wonderful traditions going. Again, I can’t tell you how sorry I am. My heart is still with you!

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    Diana — February 17, 2010 @ 6:16 am

    That was beautiful. I’m very sorry for your loss. I hope that you find comfort in all of the memories you have of her. Thinking of you. Diana

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    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — February 17, 2010 @ 6:32 am

    Both of your grandmothers sound like amazing, incredible women. You have so many memories that will carry you through this hard time. I am thinking of you.

    This post was beautiful and brought a tear to my eye.

    Reply

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    Ally @ Sweet & Savory — February 17, 2010 @ 6:43 am

    It is so wonderful how you got to spend V-Day with her and your family….I’m pretty sure someone higher up planned that:)

    Again, I’ll be thinking of you, hang in there and know that she is now looking down on you and will always be there for you.

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    Cara — February 17, 2010 @ 6:46 am

    I only recently discovered your blog so I feel like a bit of an intruder, but thankyou for sharing that beautiful tribute. I really enjoyed reading about both of your grandmothers. With such a heritage, I am even more sure that you’re one amazing woman! Hang in and take care of yourself. ((hugs))

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    Kat — February 17, 2010 @ 7:32 am

    I lost 5 relatives in 6 months when I was 16….3 of whick I was really close too. They were unexpected and tragic. But God never gives us more than we can handle. Be encouraged with the fact that God knows you are strong enough to handle this. When my grandma passed I kept her love of butterflies alive. I am sure you will find that your grandma’s strength will become yours.
    Keep the faith,
    Kat

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    Mellissa — February 17, 2010 @ 7:58 am

    Such a well written thought about your Grandma. Loosing grandparents is really hard!

    The wonderful thing about the blog community is support, and we are all here if you need us.

    Reply

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    Julie @SavvyEats — February 17, 2010 @ 8:09 am

    Sweetie, I am so sorry for your loss. I’m thinking of you and your family. Love you!

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    Karin — February 17, 2010 @ 8:14 am

    I am so incredibly sorry for your loss! This post almost made me cry and I can’t imagine what you are going through right now. Your grandma seemed like an amazing woman and your description strongly reminded me of the relationship that I have with mine. I don’t want to think about how it would be like to be without her.
    Sending you lots of love and strength..

    Reply

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    Sara — February 17, 2010 @ 8:16 am

    Losing grandparents/parents really give you a reality check. You are so lucky you got to have as much time with her as you did, she got to see you married and all growns up. Enjoy the memories…

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    Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers — February 17, 2010 @ 8:18 am

    though i’m sure you wish your grandmother could’ve read that note, i’m sure – without a doubt – she knew how much you loved and cared for her. it’s the time and simple conversations, like the ones you had this past weekend, that mean the most. i’m so sorry for your loss, though it seems like she’ll live on within you always.

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    MelissaNibbles — February 17, 2010 @ 8:34 am

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this memory with us. Big hugs to you!

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    dawn — February 17, 2010 @ 8:36 am

    so sorry about your grandmother :-(
    you were lucky though, to have her in your life, remember that

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    Tiffany — February 17, 2010 @ 8:38 am

    So sorry to hear about your grandmother. :( Just from reading your posts about her, she sounds like the grandmother everyone wishes they had, and I could really feel your connection with her. Stay strong. I know you will make it through this, and she will live on through you and your love for life.

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    Ash @ Good Taste. Healthy Me — February 17, 2010 @ 8:38 am

    I’m so sorry. I’ll be thinking of you.

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    Rebecca — February 17, 2010 @ 8:43 am

    How sad, but also how beautiful…I am so sorry for your loss, but it sounds like she has left you a legacy that will continue on for many years to come. Praying God blesses your family through this time of loss, and gives you the strength to walk on, and remember the best of times.

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    Heather (Heather's Dish) — February 17, 2010 @ 9:17 am

    so, i started crying at the first paragraph. i can’t imagine what you’re going through right now, and i am certainly praying for you. your grandmother sounds like she was an amazing woman, and I bet you take after her more than you think.

    if it helps at all, i’m thankful for YOU and the light that you bring to my life with your hilarious foodie posts and your thought provoking personal posts. I’m sure your grandmother is so proud of you!

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    Kacy — February 17, 2010 @ 10:04 am

    What a beautiful tribute to what sounds like an amazingly beautiful woman. I wish I had more words to say to help you through this, but just know I’m thinking of you and praying for your whole family.

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    kara — February 17, 2010 @ 10:39 am

    I am so sad for you and your loss. She sounds like an amazing and beautiful woman.

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    Katie@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle — February 17, 2010 @ 11:16 am

    Your post made me get choked up.. I feel for you and your family. I lost my grandma last year and so much was familiar- I hope to have a love like she and my grandpa did with my future husband, and as much class, grace, and strength as her. This was a great tribute!

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    pen — February 17, 2010 @ 11:25 am

    Jess, I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother. She sounds like an absolutely wonderful woman. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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    Jenny — February 17, 2010 @ 12:48 pm

    Warm thoughts and strong hugs to you, how fortunate you are to have had such wonderful women in your life. Everyday you are a tribute to them, don’t ever forget that.

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    Melissa — February 17, 2010 @ 2:04 pm

    That was a beautiful post paying tribute to your grandmother.

    I wish there was more I could do besides offering kind words and condolences.

    Wishing you strength to get through this difficult time.

    Reply

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    Jenny — February 17, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

    This was a beautiful tribute. And again, I express the deepest sympathies to you and your family tonight. I prayed for you this morning, and I will pray for your peace, comfort, and assurance as the days pass.

    Reply

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    Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) — February 17, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

    You really got me at the scarf. I understand how those physical memories can be so important- like holding a scarf that once belonged to her.

    A beautiful and moving tribute to her. I am somehow very sure that even though you never wrote and sent that letter, she knew the contents in her heart. And now she can just look down from heaven to the nearest laptop and read it on your blog. I like to think that my Mom reads my blog from heaven. Maybe they have a big blog-reading room up there :-)

    Hugs to you. I’m glad you got to see her in the last few days. That will come to mean a lot.

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    The Candid RD — February 18, 2010 @ 5:57 am

    Jessica, I’m so sorry about your loss. I have been in your shoes, and can feel your pain, but of course I’ll never understand your unique relationship with your grandmother. It sounds like you were meant to spend this last weekend with her, and I’m so glad it turned out that you got to spend some good quality time with her before she passed. She’s looking down on you and is so proud of you. I hope you have managed to get a few smiles in this week. We will all be thinking of you.

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    Naomi(onefitfoodie) — February 18, 2010 @ 7:45 am

    such beautiful words Jessica. She is looking down on you loving you and so very proud of you. You are an incredible writer. I can really feel each inch of your words and how passionate you are. You really need to write a book and dedicate it to your beaitiful grandmother

    Hugs and kissesss

    Reply

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    YOUR DAD — February 18, 2010 @ 10:52 am

    Angel Cake. You take my breath away! In faith we know that Grandma Merchant’s life has not ended … Only changed! It is obvious to me that she lives on in YOU

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    Jessica — February 18, 2010 @ 11:47 am

    I am speechless. That was so beautiful. And tearful after reading such thoughtful words about your grandmother. I lost my grandmother about nine months ago and still miss her so much. In fact, I’ve been thinking about her a lot more lately and can totally sense her presence. It gives me peace. I hope it gives you peace as well. hugs.

    Reply

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    Melinda — February 18, 2010 @ 11:54 am

    OMG you have me crying. I am so sorry for your loss but I am glad you had this much time to spend with her. I am sure she was so very proud of you and you brightened her life as she did yours. How awesome that you spent Valentine’s day with her. She must have been at peace when she passed and I am glad she did not suffer. You and your family and in my thoughts.

    Reply

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    Patti — February 18, 2010 @ 12:29 pm

    Jess — what beautiful memories of your grandma. They will always be with you. I know how difficult it is right now —- just a huge, gapping hole inside. You are a strong lady, just like your grandma and you will get through it. Love you – Patti

    Reply

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    Lauren — February 18, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

    I am so sorry to you and your family for losing such an amazing woman and role model. I’m praying right now that you would be so comforted and filled with such peace (and for your dear Grandpa too). What a gift to have spent such a lovely day with her, I know those memories will always stay with you.

    Reply

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    Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete — February 18, 2010 @ 3:09 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss! You are so strong, and it is a good thing that you are here to carry on their memories through your writing!

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    Cheryl — February 18, 2010 @ 6:56 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss:( Trust me, she knew how you felt about her I’m sure!!

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    Mae @ OhhMay — February 18, 2010 @ 8:02 pm

    Jessica, this is so beautiful. I know she would be so proud of you and just by reading your blog I can tell that she was an incredible woman. You are so sweet and passionate and I’m sure those are characteristics passed down by your grandma.

    I can’t even imagine such a loss and I’m so sorry.

    Reply

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    Jenn (eating bender) — February 18, 2010 @ 8:48 pm

    Thinking of you and not quite knowing what to say, since your words and emotions have brought me back to how I felt last fall, when I lost my own grandmother.

    What you wrote truly touched me and I’m sure that your loved ones are smiling down at you right now, so proud of you and the love that you are showing them. I am truly sorry for your loss and am thinking and praying for you and your family during this difficult time.

    Hugs <3

    Reply

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    Shannon — February 19, 2010 @ 5:33 am

    Your post made me cry. I am so, so sorry. My grandmother just turned 90 and her health has been declining. I am so close to her and the thought of losing her breaks my heart. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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    Tracy — February 19, 2010 @ 1:21 pm

    I’m so sorry. :-( Sending lots of *hugs* your way.

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    Amy from She Wears Many Hats — February 20, 2010 @ 9:20 pm

    I just did see this post. A little belated but I hope you’re doing okay. I’ll be praying for you and your understanding of it all.

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    Marisa @All in Good Food — February 20, 2010 @ 9:51 pm

    I just wanted to say I’m sorry to hear about the lose of your grandma you describe her as a wonderful woman. Without going into my own story all I can say is I understand your pain right now. Even though we don’t know each other you and your family are truly in my thoughts and prayers. Stay strong.

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    Jessie — February 21, 2010 @ 8:38 am

    I’m so sorry about your grandmother … she sounds like such an incredible, special woman who has had an enormous influence on your life. I know she’s looking down on you now and loving you as she always has. xoxo

    Reply

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