Tomorrow is the anniversary of my beloved grandma's death. She died on Halloween sixteen years ago. I realized the other day that she has almost been gone for as long as I had the privilege and honor to know and love her. I learned so much from my Grandma Satterfield. She was honest and wise and lovely. I remember spending time with her discussing her faith and what was important to her. Without a doubt the most important thing in my grandmother's life was her faith. It helped her persevere through some pretty horrific realities in her life including losing her eldest daughter, Leslie, to cancer at age five. Although the conversations we had about death, dying and suffering happened when I was in high school and college, her insights have stayed with me all these years later.
The holidays have always reminded me of my grandma because she would often spend several weeks at our house over the holidays. I fondly recollect her baking her special recipes and favorite treats that we had grown accustomed to her making for us.
I also remember the "look" she would give us when she was not happy with our behavior or how we were treating our mom. I do remember being irritated by it at the time but now realize that her "looks" always had loving intentions.
My grandmother died suddenly of an aortic aneurysm. Even sixteen years later, I vividly can recall that early morning call from my mother, telling me the news of her death. It was surreal and sad and awful. Her funeral was very fitting for the kind of woman my grandmother was, simple and religious. She was cremated so I never did see her after her death. In some ways that was difficult because I would often go several months without seeing her and I remember the reality of her death took a long time to sink in. Time and time again I would go to reach for the phone to call her and suddenly the reality of her death would come crashing over me. Waves of grief would over take me and I would feel so very sad that I would never talk to her here on Earth again. I would love to have one more conversation, one more opportunity to soak in her wisdom. Thankfully, I always told her how much I loved and appreciated her. I also find much solace in knowing that she longed to be reunited with her daughter and husband and I know she is resting in eternal peace with her Savior.
I have tried to honor my beloved grandmother in different ways over the last sixteen years. To live a faith filled life. To remember the importance of family. I named Caroline after her by giving her my grandmother's maiden name ,Carlysle .as a middle name. I tell my children stories of her and have pictures of both my grandma and grandpa in our home. I have often been surprised by how fortunate many of my friends are to have grandparents who are still living today. All of my grandparents, with the exception of one, were gone before I was 20. Still, I would not trade one moment or memory I have with my Grandma Satterfield. I was immeasurably blessed to have such a wonderful women in my life for twenty years.