I was discussing with a close friend recently the truth in the thought that we all individually tend to deal differently with the loss of someone we love. Family history, individual experience, and plenty of other contributing factors allow us each to process grief and incorporate loss differently.
One of the lessons I have learned from loss is that it is important to me to treasure the relationships I have with people who are still living. That landscape is different for each of us as well. I am fortunate that my life today is rich with people who are loving, kind, compassionate, forgiving, and love to laugh. Given the occasion, I want to introduce you to my mother’s mother, my grandmother, Patricia Chambers.
I’ll start with a quick story as to why I call my grandmother Mom. My grandparents lived in Memphis when I was growing up. Each December, our young family would travel to Memphis to celebrate Christmas together. On one such visit, this young boy was made jealous by my aunts and uncle (and Mommy), calling my grandmother Mom. I climbed up into my grandmother’s lap and whispered into her ear “Can I call you Mom?” Of course, as grandparents do, she said yes. So ensued a lifetime of confusion with stories told that include characters named “Mother Mom, Dad, Grandfather Dad, and Grandmother Mom.”
My grandmother has always been accommodating like that. She has always been a sounding board for me. She taught me manners, etiquette, and correct grammar (much to the chagrin of many in my life). She taught me the importance of privacy by respecting mine and teaching me the wisdom in respecting others’. She has taught me, through example, how to survive and persevere through loss. She has taught me that it is possible to learn to laugh again after the tears have stopped. She has taught me to respect and honor those who came before me. She has taught me the absolute importance of family. She has entrusted me with her heart and her truth.
Having lost my mother, three cherished sons, her husband, two brothers, her parents,and countless other friends and family, she accepts that she is alive today with many people to love that include her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. There’s nothing like the face of a great-grandmother when those kids are all hyped up on her arrival, competing for her attention. It’s magical to watch, and it is certainly magical to her.
- Mom is a remarkable woman.
- She is elegant.
- She is poised.
- She is wise.
- She is loving.
- She is sweet.
- She is funny.
- She is smart.
- She is kind.
- She is proud.
- She is my grandmother.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you very much. Tomorrow Begins Today.