I told her that Grandpa would come for her and she should look for him. He would be anxious to see her and that she was so, so beautiful. As far under as she was, that got a reaction from her. I told her about the fun she would have with her 8 sisters and 2 brothers who were also waiting for her, and I wanted her to tell her sister Onie that she was my favorite. We talked about the good times, and repeated funny stories. I played her Enya on my iPod - kind of like angels singing.
She just couldn't seem to leave us just then. A couple of times I thought she was gone, but then she came back. My aunt was exhausted and so we all went home. And so, this morning when all was quiet and it was just my aunt and the nurse, Grandma was finally able to go meet her sweet husband and have a joyful reunion with him after 34 years apart. I keep trying to imagine that reunion - and I know it was joyful - but I'm having a hard time with it. Selfish, I know.
Melba Miller loved life. She loved people in all shapes and forms. She never met a stranger. She found fun in the mundane as well as the unusual. She loved to dance, and was so light on her feet. She wore her little white Keds with everything. She was on a bowling team until she was 90-something. She was a tickler of small children's arms. She was a knitter of Christmas slippers and a seamstress of prom dresses. She understood all when it seemed no one else did. And when the great grandchildren came and grew, she extended her generous and exuberant spirit to them. How many great grandchildren are lucky enough to have grown up knowing, loving, and being loved by their great grandmother? And her great great grandchildren will grow up having baby pictures of them being held by one of the most amazing women ever created.
It was sweet to see the devotion and love shown by my children this past week towards Grandma. She totally deserved it, and in better days she would have loved the attention. Luckily, she was the recipient of their attention quite often. To say they adored her would be an understatement. This was the woman who traveled to Hawaii in her 90s to see Katie graduate from BYUH. She wouldn't have missed it.
And a few years later into her 90's she went to Utah to see Scott graduate from UVU. Only natural, in her mind. Miss it? Never. Her enthusiasm was contagious, and she hated to leave any kind of party.
And now she's moved on to another family gathering. We're happy for her - we really are. But our lives are suddenly poorer being deprived of her amazing spirit, and it's left us a little flat. I long to sit by her once more and hold her hand. I would give anything to see her whipping up a little something in the kitchen again, or serving my dad his extra big piece of pie. She took care of her men, that's for sure. She's been a most excellent example to me in every way. Work hard, look for the good in everything, love your family. And laugh. A lot.
I found two verses that reminded me so of her. The first:
Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears,
but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you.
'Twas heaven to be here with you, I loved you so.
- Isla Pascal Richardson
And my favorite:
I'm not going to die, I'm going home
like a shooting star.
- Sojourner Truth
You go, Grandma. You are well loved by so many and you'll be sorely missed. Watch over us, and whisper your good advice to us in our sleep. And save me a seat next to you so you can tickle my arm.