I've been meaning to write this for a while. My grandmother, my mom's mom, died on December 10, just five days shy of her 80th birthday. Her husband, my grandfather, died a few years back.
I loved my Nana Norma and I miss her. For whatever difficulties and pain she caused our family in the past, she also brought joy and genuine love. My earliest memories are of her gifts, and her giving spirit. She loved giving gifts! Even though some of them were odd, she was thinking of you specifically when she got it.
She was quite a character. Very opinionated about grammar, never failed to correct me when I said something like "me and Josh went to the park." But it was because she knew we were capable of better. She loved John Wayne and classic movies. I still remember her reciting a famous line from Patton, doing her best to mimic George C. Scott. "Rommel, you magnificent bastard, I read your book!" (I can't remember if she actually said "bastard," but that's how the memory plays in my mind.)
The night before she died most of the family was able to visit her. She was slipping in and out of consciousness, but when she saw you, she smiled broadly and squeezed your hand. My cousin Christopher was able to give her the news that he and his wife had just discovered that they were pregnant with a boy. Christopher is the only Stamper grandson, so his forthcoming son will be the first to carry on the Stamper name. She was really excited by this, raising her arms and smiling and saying, "Oh gosh! Oh golly! Gee whiz!" It was a truly joyful moment, and I like to think that the next day she was up in Heaven telling Baba Bill the news.
My grandmother loved the Lord later in her life. And she loved us. I thank God for her and the chance to see her again one day.