Saturday, February 04, 2006

It's funny how life changes in a blink of an eye. I do know that but it seems even more true when something sad happens. I got a call from my mother as soon as I got into work Friday morning. That is not unusual but her calm voice turned into a warbly mess. I really did not want to hear why she was crying. I knew it would be bad. She called me to say my only living grandparent, her mother, my Mehtzma Rose passed away early Friday morning. I didn't want to deal with it. Because if I ignore it then it can't be true. If I stayed at work and went on with my day then everything wouldn't change. I know I am lying to myself. Since her passing I go between crying and being fine.
Even though my grandmother did not live with us I loved her just the same. She was so funny, spunky and a great cook. One recipe of hers I loved was crepes with a savory filling. And the other was a spinach pie but I think she added dill to hers. She made them the last night I was in Armenia. I was only five but the memory of those meals still remain. I remember eating watermelon infront of her house. The little blue raincoat and red ballet shoes she brought me. Her coming to Lake George and playing basketball with us. Watching cartoons in her living room. Just walking around with her and playing in her back yard. She loved to talk. My grandma was always on the phone with everybody. Keeping in touch. I really am having a hard time typing and referring to her in the past tense. Now I am afraid that link in my mom's side of the family is gone. My mothers generation of cousins and especially mine have not been that good at keeping in touch. My grandma was a complicated lady. Modest, old world, but forward thinking, tidy, told jokes, loved wrestling and let out a curse here and there. My grandma was cracking my mother up at my wedding rehearsal. We had surprised her and asked her to be a part of the wedding party. And my grandma was not happy about walking down the aisle. She was shy and nervous and didn't want to look silly. She was never part of a ceremony before. I remember hearing my mother in the back of the church practically hyperventalating because she was laughing so hard at what my grandmother was saying. But my grandmother did great on my wedding day as she walked down the aisle and waved at everyone she knew.
My grandmother was sick for a very long time. Her heart just gave out. I guess I hoped she wouldn't be sick enough to go so soon. Soon seems like a funny word to use because she was just about 84. She would have been on February 7. So her death wasn't a tragedy like the various children who were murdered by "caregivers" in New York City recently, but for me it is still sad. And very painful. Many times I have to stop writing this because I get too upset and can't type. But I need to have a full entry about her. She was born to a poor Armenian family in Romania. She had three sisters. One older and two younger. She never learned how to read or write because going to school was a privilege her parents couldn't afford. She had worked most of her life. When her older sister Sourpuhi got married and was going to move to Armenia, their mother sent Rose to Armenia too so Sourpuhi wouldn't be lonely. Funny to have your little sister tagging along your first year of marriage. My grandmother was upset that although it was a good life change her family would be split up.
She married an Armenian from Bulgaria and they had two children. First my mom and then my uncle. My grandmother used to make trips frequently to visit Romania and always brought back clothes and toys for my brother and me and I am sure later on for my younger cousins. My grandma was quite giving. She was sad when my parents, me and brother moved to America. Her family was broken up once again.
I am glad my grandmother saw me get married. She flew back to New York special for that. I was happy to see her last June when I went to California and was making plans to visit again in the Fall. I have an image of her my last day in California and my cousin had his arm on her shoulder and they are waving goodbye as my aunt drives me to the airport. That's what keeps going through my head. The last time I saw her. She gave me some drinking glasses. They were from her mother. I have them in safe keeping and when I have a china cabinet I'll display them proudly. I spoke to her last week and can't believe it was my last time. I am trying to record her voice in my head because I am ashamed to say I have forgotten my grandfather's voice and my other grandmother's voice. I hope I don't forget hers.
She didn't live near us most of my life. She was either in Armenia, a short time in New York and then moved to California. But I loved her desperately. She always had a funny story and people loved to be around her. Besides her memorable meals and personality she was a mean crocheter. I also have some pieces she made. Once when I have more room I will display them proudly as well. Niel and I went to my parents last night. A few people had already come over and paid their respects. I foresee that happening until her burial. She requested to be buried in New York near my grandfather. My mom was telling me stories of how in between visits to Romania her friends and relatives who still lived there would send her clothing and she would give them to her nieces and children. Because they were younger and should have more. She never had a decent sofa but she found the money to give a new one as a wedding present to her niece who got married. Rose was funny, kind, talented and generous and I woke up this morning a bit disoriented and the first thought I had was that its true. She really is gone. The funeral won't be till next week. I don't know why they are waiting so long. I think it's good for my mom to have some closure. I am happy that I can go visit her gravesite. I would see her more than I could previously. But in a way I like to think that she is still out in California and its just distance that is keeping us apart once again.

20 comments:

Lisa said...

What a fabulous picture of the three of you! I am so sorry for your loss! My prayers are with you and your family!

Linda Rae said...

i am very sorry for you and your family's loss. my prayers are with you.

Jen14221 said...

so sorry about your grandman, Ani.

Mike said...

Sorry to hear about your grandmothers passing. I remember you saying how she's been sick for a while, so at least she is now at peace. It's funny, because we can look back and say someone lived a long, happy life, but it never seems like they lived long enough.

Shelagh said...

Ani, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your grandmother. It was lovely to read about her life. I hope you are feeling better.
Sincerely, Shelagh aka Blueberrymoon

Robyn said...

I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother, but I'm glad to hear she had such an impact on your life.

MarylandMommy said...

I am so sorry about your grandmother. My thoughts & prayers are with you & your family.

Jessica said...

Oh Ani, I am so sorry about your grandma. I loved reading your memories of her. You are in my thoughts.

curlygirl said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Christina said...

What a special lady! I'm sorry for your loss. {HUGS}

Amanda said...

I am sorry about your Grandma, Ani. (((hugs))) to you. Lovely picture

Jesser said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your grandma's passing. My thoughts are with you ...

niel said...

Ani, that was very well said. Your grandma was an awesome lady, and will be missed.

Shannon said...

Oh Ani- I am so sorry to hear of your grandmother's passing. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. You wrote a beautiful post about her and have a gorgeous picture of the 3 of you. I'm sure she knows you will keep her memory alive and close to your heart. xoxo

Enid Yvette said...

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Your love of your grandmother radiates deeply in this post. My thought and prayers are with you at this time.

Yvett said...

Oh, Ani. I am so, so sorry. My deepest condolences to you and your family. You are in my thoughts.

azuradec said...

oh ani. my condolences. a big hug frm me.

Lisanne said...

Ani, I am *sincerely* sorry to hear about the loss of your grandmother. What a *fantastic* photo of the three of you ~ you made such a gorgeous bride! Sending all of my best wishes your way ... if you ever want to talk, I'm here. She sounds like she was a super woman. You'll always carry her in your heart!

Giao said...

Oh Ani. I am so deeply sorry for your loss.

Your post was a WONDERFUL tribute to your warm grandmother.

Hugs.

Leslie said...

Ani.
I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother's passing. But I am happy to hear that you have such great memories of her both here in the U.S. and in Armenia. May those live forever in your memory!