Remembering My Grandma

What an off morning it has been.
Lots of emotions, and plenty of tears.

I’ve been sitting at my computer for an hour and a half, I’ve gotten a couple things done – but in general I’ve just been spinning in my chair.

I think because this morning I realized it was my grandma’s birthday. I knew it was coming but I was ignoring it.

She was my grandma by marriage but she was the truest grandma I ever had. She married my grandpa on my mom’s side when I was 10 years old, 5 years after the death of my first grandma, whom I sadly don’t remember. She was so loving, so caring, so protective – very different from the callous and cruel grandmother on my dad’s side, a woman who protected her pedophile husband instead of her own daughter,or me, her granddaughter.

My grandma Flo is the first person I disclosed my abuse to who not only believed me without question, but did something about it without hesitation. I can’t remember if she told me about her own childhood and the encounters with her Uncle first and that connection was what did it, or if she told me after. Regardless, our connection was deeper than the marriage that brought us together. She was meant to be my grandma the minute she was born.

taken in 2003

Once I told her about being molested she acted swiftly, and the following year became a blur. She took me to a therapist who was mandated to report. Suddenly there were police officers, detectives, and statements. I’ll never forget the day she pulled me out of school early and took me to lunch. She kept the conversation light in the car, never alluding to the reason for this impromptu escape from classes.

Once lunch was ordered, as we sat to wait – she told me my paternal grandfather had been arrested and charged with a number of felonies including multiple counts of child molestation and rape of a child. I don’t remember anything else about that lunch.

In actuality, my memory of the timeline is pretty bad during this period of my life, but I do know it was within months of this luncheon that the trial ensured which resulted in his suicide.

Through everything, I always remember her. She was always a constant in my life. In my late teens and early 20’s because of the time difference between us, every New Years Eve I’d call her around 12:01 am so that we could talk while she was still on a different day in a  different year. We did this for a number of years. One of my many treasured memories with her.

It’s been 16 years since she died, I was just 24 years old. She would be 86 years old today if she were here to celebrate. It’s crazy how intense the grief can feel this many years later as I think about all the time I wish I’d had with her. So many things in my life that we didn’t get to share together. I’m sad my kids didn’t get to experience  her love.

I know she would be proud of me if she were here, she always was.

Happiest Birthday Grandma. You are loved, cherished, and missed so very much.

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