My grandma, Patricia Edsell (Pat), passed away Tuesday morning. I was in Portland at the time, rushing to change my flight so that I could see her one last time. I didn’t make it… Grandma passed away just before noon and my flight landed at 6pm that evening.
Even though I didn’t make it to my grandma’s bedside on Tuesday I am left at ease with our last interactions. Andrew and I visited my grandparents a few weeks ago, in- between big snow storms. We chatted about the nasty weather and my grandma’s health. We naturally ended up talking about craft, my grandma being one of the greatest makers I’ve ever known. (She spent most of the years of her life making – crocheted blankets for the kids and grandkids, cross stitch artwork which filled all the walls in their house, doll clothes for my Barbies, entire dolls for my cousins and I, etc.)
That day my grandpa pulled out two down coats my grandma made back in the 70s or 80s, a beautiful brown one for himself and a burnt orange one for my grandma. They were so beautiful that Andrew and I couldn’t help ourselves and quickly tried them on. At the time, I returned the coat to my grandma imagining how much she’d get to use it this winter. I had no idea that within a few weeks time that coat would be hanging in my own closet, a reminder of the woman I loved and admired so much.
I have so many fond memories of my grandparents and I feel lucky that they were able to play such a big part in my life. In elementary school they would make the long trek down the mountain to visit for Grandparent’s Day where I would sing for them and show them my class room and school work. Afterward they would take me to Toys R Us where I would pick out just one new toy and we’d grab lunch at Sizzler before they brought me home.
I remember camping with my grandma and grandpa, just the three of us. We drove out to the coast where I saw banana slugs and ate my very first kiwi. As I got older I would visit them in the summers for a week or two. I remember waiting for grandma to get home from work and watching her soaps with her when she returned. I remember picking out patterns for Barbie clothes and grandma getting angry at the sewing machine while she worked with such small pieces of fabric. I remember her teaching me how to crochet, or attempting to at least – my patience never lasting long.
I remember our big family camping trips, cooking marshmallows over the fire, grape bubble gum in her purse, and a sea of rainbows in her car from the crystal hanging in her window.
My grandma introduced me to crafting, she taught me that it’s ok to like being alone, she made me cheesy toast, and loved to gossip about her favorite country singers.
That last day I saw her I told her I loved her and I know she is at peace now. I see her in the snow and in rainbows dancing across my walls.