Today I'm missing my memere.
I did a project for one of my classes this summer and one of the sections was about the long line of strong women in my family. My memere was the inspiration for that. She was completely different from any grandmothers I have ever known. She was so funny, and so loving, and so strong.
She worked her whole life in a time when women often didn't. Until the day she died, she continued to work doing the bookkeeping for the family business.
She told amazing stories, and sang songs, and danced.
She was incredibly generous and had warm and open arms for everyone- no matter their differences- in fact, she seemed to thrive on learning about other cultures and religions.
The times at her house were always magical. They were filled with joy, laughter, and song. In her small apartment, the whole family would gather and celebrate- it was always a celebration.
She had been involved in theater for much of her life and passed that gene onto her children. The whole evening would be a performance.
A couple of years ago, we stopped having Christmas at her house. I was devastated. In the meantime, more of her children relocated so there were fewer gatherings at her home. I've missed those times.
I kept waiting for another time at my memere's. It was something I really wanted my daughter to experience. I'm so sad that that will never happen. My daughter never met my memere. By the time our relationship was strong enough for that to be a possibility, the gatherings had mostly stopped.
I'm mourning what my memere represented in our family; I'm mourning the fact that she never met my daughter, and I'm feeling guilty about how long it has been since I saw her.
Many years ago, I went to Panama. My memere was very religious and I brought back a beautiful little statue of The Last Supper to give to her. She loved it and gave it its own special place in her home.
I miss her spirit- at the funeral mass, everyone mentioned my memere's joie de vivre. It describes her so well. She lived her whole life that way. Nobody comes close to her. Even though she lived a long and beautiful life, her loss is a truly great one.