Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dear GiGi

You were always crazy for zinnias.


Dear GiGi,

I have been missing you.

There is so much that I
wish we could share.
You loved margaritas
and I wish that we could
sit on Mom and Dad's
gliders and sip our frozen
drinks and talk and talk
and talk some more, the
way we used to.

But you aren't really here.


The view from your room.


Physically, you live in a
cozy group home with five
other residents in a little
neighborhood 15 minutes
from your daughter, my
mama.  And you still know
your precious girl, which is
really wonderful.

You just forgot the rest of us.

You didn't mean to.  When you
are nearly 94 it is quite common.

But still.....I miss you so.


View from the gliders.

If we were sitting on those gliders,
back and forth,
back and forth,
frosty margaritas and the sun
dipping low on the horizon,
I would share all kinds of
news, because you were 
always the most appreciative
audience.

I'd tell you that our Elizabeth
arrived home on Saturday night
from Italy!  Did you ever think that
your great-granddaughter would go
to Italy when she was only 16?  
Maybe.  After all, you were only
17 and freshly graduated from 
high school when you auditioned for
{and made} a dance troupe that travelled 
across the Midwest and up into Canada.


You had the time of your life.


Gallery of your dancing days, in your room.

You confided that you didn't succumb
to bleaching your hair platinum like 
so many of your troupe friends.  Or 
smoke like they did, even though it
 was considered glamorous in the 1930's.  
Your daddy thought it made a woman
 look fast and you never wanted 
to  disappoint him! 


You never did.

I'd fill you in on our William, who is 
getting so tall; just 12 and a half,  he has big
 hands and feet like an overgrown puppy.
He is a teddy bear, a lot like your son
was, GiGi.  Remember your Doug?  He got
polio when he was seven, but you
were so strong and so brave and luckily
 you'd purchased polio insurance
at work,  just in case, so all his treatments 
were covered.  Gosh, you loved your boy.


Your boy and mine.....age 12  : )

I'm glad you don't remember that
he died 15 years ago.  I was with
you just before he went to heaven
 and GiGi,  you were so braveagain. 
 Which is really amazing when you 
consider what a softie you'd always
been; how you managed after such
a loss was a testament to your 
ability to stay positive, even in
the face of great sadness.

If we were gliding and sipping and 
 laughing....and you were nodding
and listening....I'd fill you in on my
blog and the special friends that 
I've made, all around the world....
and, in my own backyard.


Last week with my BFF bloggy buddy.

GiGi, you'd love them.  So 
many dear, fascinating people!

And you'd love that I'm writing.

Which is why I'm missing you, today.
Even though you are here.
I will see you in less than a month.
I will lean down to hug and kiss you 
and you will smile and say Well, hello!
but you're just being polite as you
let this kinda-sorta-familiar stranger
bestow her affections upon you.

And that's okay.

Because I know you.
And I love you.

I always will.


With your beloved daddy.

xx
Suzanne



51 comments:

Sarah atRosePetals said...

What a beautiful conversation...

She may not act like she knows or remembers, but she does...in her heart.

Frizzy said...

This brought tears to my eyes. Do you know how many times I've witnessed a child or grandchild visit their grandparent and recall memories and times just like these? I'm a social worker and most of my experience is Long Term Care facilities and geriatrics. My heart belongs to dear loved ones with Alzheimer's. My great grandma had it and oh how she touched my life. The memories...we laughed or we would have cried. Special memories. Tender memories. Just as you've shared here. Lovely my dear. Lovely! Your Gigi's spirit knows you even if her mind cannot recall or pin point exactly who you are. Just love her with all your heart as you obviously do. Listen to her and share with her your life and stories. She will love looking at your photos and stories. You should share them!

Julie said...

I almost feel like I'm intruding into a very personal and intimate love letter to a very very very special woman from a very very very loving grand...the diseases or disorders that steal the mind away from us seem the worst! :-( I'm glad she is still sweet and smiling to you, even as my grandmother was to us, when she couldn't recall....she was my dearest and most cherished role model...She lived on a farm and loved the simple life of gardens, animals, and loving and serving her hubby, and she LOVED thrifting and yard sales and collecting LOTS of costume jewlery!!!! :-) sigh...your post reminds of what special women we may have had in our lives and how that became a part of the beginnings of us, forming, shaping, defining our lives simply by their being generational givers...passing on parts of themselves to the ones that they would hand the baton to...love your
post...reminiscing....
xoxo hugs...

Joanna said...

Very moving. How wonderful to be related to such a strong, characterful woman. It's in your genes too!

xx

Susan T said...

Somewhere in her soul she knows she loves you. My grandmother died many years ago now. I miss her.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

It is sometimes easier to write to her than about her,isn't it dear friend?

When I did my Mother's Day post, I tried to write ABOUT my mom. I just couldn't. When I wrote TO HER, the feelings just came out. Hmmmm.... a lesson in writing.

Your gorgeous Gigi has had a life to remember, for all of those whose lives will never be the same, for I can see she IS a woman of great beauty and talent that has rubbed off on you.

Blessings to you today and always, Anita

traci said...

oh suzanne, this brought tears to my eyes. gigi knows you love her. thanks for making me think of my grandmas this morning.

Hartwood Roses said...

What wonderful photos, and amazing memories, of a very full life. Though there is much that GiGi cannot remember, her life lives on in YOUR memory.

Razmataz said...

We can learn so much from our elders. We owe that generation so much. A lovely post. Thank you.

cityfarmer said...

ahhh darling ... I haven't walked this road as of yet, but you courage surely inspired me ... I love your family name, Gigi

miss you as always



ps
wedding posts are up

dedicated exchange server hosting said...

Beautiful!

LuLu said...

I just pictured you and yours sweet Gigi sitting on the glidder sipping away having this conversation... your words, the memories are such a gift and thank you for sharing them... they are so beautiful and has me thinking of my mom, my nanny.
Have a wonderful day,
xo,
LuLu

Trish @TheOldPostRoad said...

Great post, Suzanne.
-Trish

Gretchen said...

Once again, Suzanne, this post confirms you are doing what you are so gifted at, and that is writing and sharing from your heart about those you love. Through this post I learned so much about your dear Gigi, your love for one another, and also can see some of your strengths passed down from your dear Grandmother. I loved Julie's comments to you as well.
Do happy too hear your daughter arrived home safely from Italy over the weekend and that you can once more relax with her being back home with her family. Enjoy your precious time next week with family and loved ones such as Gigi & your parents. Relish the afternoons with dear Gigi, and like the one gal said, share your heart with her even though she may not act or know you, her heart still does. Its also good for your soul...
Again Suzanne, this was a beautiful post, that through your written words and the love you conveyed brought me to tears. You have a real talent.
Gret

Deborah said...

Suzanne this is so precious...
and in her heart of hearts, she remembers everything.
You are the sweetest and all you do is overflowing with love my dear friend.
Love you and your tender heart. xo

Deborah xoxoxo

Biz said...

It's not just my hormones.
You hit a chord with this beautiful post.
How amazingly beautifully stated.
Sending you a hug today!
Biz

Ironstone and Pine said...

What a lovely tribute Suzanne! It's so empty when they leave, isn't it...........you never stop missing them even as the years go by. You have to believe she's watching over you...., that she's all around you. "If heaven weren't so far away I'd pack up the kids and go for the day.....losing them wouldn't be so hard to take if heaven weren't so far away..." That song really rings true for me. The memories are our gift, and you have some sweet ones, she's only as far as your heart! xx~devon

michele at hellolovelyinc said...

beautiful tribute from such a sensitive soul. just gorgeous words.

michele

Farmgirl Paints said...

that was so sweet suzanne. made me sad. i wish that never happened to people. it's really the worst thing ever.

Carol@TheDesignPages said...

What a nice tribute to a special person in your life. It sounds like she has had an extraordinary life.

Christie said...

My sweet Grandma Effie...she loved to dance and laugh and wear her high heels. I am so much like her, my mother says...for I didnt know her before she grew old...and didn't know us...
What a touching, lump in your throat, expression of love to your sweet GIGI!
Oh, how these women in our lineage have influence on our lives...they need for us to remember ...and to visit...and to lean over and kiss them on their soft cheeks...run our fingers through their fine hair...
Embrace each day you have with her..
Christie

Amy Arnaz said...

Thank goodness I haven't applied my mascara yet! Very touching, Suzanne. I knew it would be an emotional post the moment I saw the name Gigi. Lovely tribute to your sweet Grandmother. xoxo Amy

pollydove said...

wow. i loved this post! so sweet, so special, fabulous photos ... you truly do have a gift of expressing yourself in such a heartfelt way. i was right there with you and your sweet gigi! beautiful.

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

I agree with someone above that called this a beautiful conversation. I have a feeling that you are a lot like your precious GiGi. Compassionate and full of life. Mona

michelle said...

What a beautiful post, kind of bitter-sweet I would imagine. Your Gigi sounds like an amazing woman. It makes me think of my Grammy who passed when I was only 10, I love her dearly and miss her everyday and I would do the same with her if she were still with us. Your Gigi knows you love her so.
XO

Sharon Lovejoy said...

My dear Suzanne,

I've been there with my Mama and I know how you feel. The day she called me "Buddy" almost killed me. She didn't recognize her first born.

Are we lucky that they're spared?

Sending love,

Sharon

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Thank you for coming on by dear friend. Love is the only thing we are guaranteed, isn't it? Gigi has made her mark, and so has love. Thank GOD no one, not even time, space, age, or any other intruding element can separate us from the love of GOD.

VoilĂ .

Happy day, Anita

Olive Cooper said...

Having trouble here writing a comment that makes one bit of sense because this affected me so deeply. Thanks for sharing this Suzanne.

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Dear Suzanne
This is the most beautiful piece of writing - and thank you for sharing it with us.
You've truly touched my heart and soul today.
You're so brave and I imagine your emotions were running very high as you wrote each and every loving word to Gigi.
Gigi is not alone - you have wrapped her in your love with these words and...
'God is holding her in the palm of his hand'.
She is very blessed.
Take care mon ami
love
Shane

SHERRY HART said...

It amazes me that you can take a few thoughts and weave them into a story about love, caring, history, family. You have the talent of the word.

Tiffini said...

so beautiful Suzanne. I can't even imagine someone I love being still here but not. not remembering me. that would be difficult but I love the way she lives by your mom and you visit her and write about her. she would be so happy and proud of you..and the dance troupe! That is such a neat tidbit. I love watching old musicals:) Glad your girl is home safe...happy Monday
xo

Anonymous said...

Linda {http://itsy-bits-and-pieces.blogspot.com/}has left a new comment on your post "Dear GiGi":

Your GiGi sounds like such a special woman...I love your heartfelt letter to her and am so glad you will see her again soon! I saw Becky's post about your wonderful day...I know it must be so hard that she is moving! It is hard to find friendships like that...but I know you will keep in touch with her! I loved the photo she had with William's new ice shaving machine...so fun to see he is going to do it!! Thinking of you, my friend!! XO Linda

eddieross said...

Suzanne!
This is the most amazing post! So sweet and inspiring! She sounds SO amazing! Thank you for this!
xo E + J

That Janie Girl said...

Suzanne,

This is a beautiful post.

Awesome.

Thanks for letting us get to know your grandmother a bit.

Melissa said...

totally beautiful sweet friend...
just beautiful...
what an amazing woman...
with a blessed family who love her no matter what she knows...

we lost our beloved great aunt last monday- three weeks shy of her 99th birthday...
she was an incredible woman who had married one of our past prime ministers, played charades with sir lawrence olivier on a 6 week cruise round the world- but never had children...we all were here special family...

i believe that our children, and yours, are the lucky ones knowing these women...

enjoy your special time with her...
and lovely to have your big gal back...

melissa xx

Lisa said...

How lucky you are Suzanne, to have a grandmother that you are so fond of. I take care of a woman who's memory is slipping away, but it always amazes me what little morsels of her past come into clear focus now and then. Enjoy the happy memories that being with her evokes for you......and enjoy having your girlie home safe and sound!!

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Oh, sweetie. I'm so sorry for your difficult situation. It's so hard for everyone involved, isn't it? I found it very difficult with my grandmother.

Big, warm hugs flying your way.

Sarahx

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Suzanne, you never cease to amaze me. This is another magnificent post full of love and kindness. I am sure in her heart and soul your Gigi remembers you. Love is always there. The way you describe your Gigi reminds me of you...full of love and compassion and strength.
XO

lisaroyhandbags said...

what a beautiful post about a beautiful relationship. This is one of the most difficult, unfair things that can happen to someone - to be physically there in every way but losing the precious memories of friends and family. Big hugs to you. xo
I lost all of my grandparents by the time I was 9 so I've missed out on creating memories with them.

A Rosy Note said...

Beautiful and sad, all at the same time. I felt the same way about my grandma. Wishing for one last chat or a flicker of rememberance. I liked to think that somewhere, deep inside, there was a few memories of our love floating around.

xo Tricia

patty said...

this just made me cry. lotsa tears.
so beautifully written~

Bad Joan said...

Gorgeous zinnias!

http://blog.badjoan.com/

Seven Gates Farm said...

Just today ... in 1 split second .. life changed. Time will not let me go back. So, I understand this post. Debi

Lili said...

There you go tugging at my heart again like only you can do. My heart aches for you Suzanne for all the things you long to share with your Gigi. xoxo ~Lili
P.S. Loving that pic of you in the field with your blogging buddy.

Jeanie said...

Oh, Suzanne, I'm so glad you wrote this letter to Gigi, and that you shared it with us. It's heartbreaking, isn't it? But to be able to write this, to tell her -- well, maybe sometime you can read it to her. She might not understand, but maybe she'll hear. So very beautiful, my friend.

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

Your post about your grandmother is too precious for words. It really touches my heart because you put into words the love that you hold onto for your beloved Gigi and I know she would be so pleased. To be able to express your feelings this way is truly a gift. Thanks for sharing!

Indie.Tea said...

What a beautiful post. She sounds like an amazing woman, one who lived life to the fullest and was her own person.
...and your post reminds me of my own grandmother. I'm lucky, because I am the only grandchild she remembers now (I suppose because I lived with her as a child).

Days at Buttermilk Cottage said...

Suzanne,
What a beautiful testament of your love for your grandmother. Life can seem so unfair at times, but love like yours, and your ability to express it and share it, evens things out a bit.
Best,
Susan

Terra said...

This is a charming story of your love for your grandma, and your dream of sitting on the glider with her again and sipping a margarita with her. This loss of memory is a cruel disease, and your post is very touching.

quintessence said...

Several others have said this but I agree - somewhere, on some level, you love is getting though. Have you ever read Oliver Sacks? The mind is amazing - you never what lurks beneath the surface. What a beautiful and loving tribute to someone clearly so special.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh I do believe Gigi is home now.

Enjoy the 4th together!