I never had a very close relationship with my own grandparents, the last of whom passed away several years ago. I have a great deal of respect for them and I loved them very much, but I was never able to connect with them the way I would have wanted. There was a gap between the world that they grew up in and the one I'd grown up in, and it always felt like neither they nor I could bridge it. Even though Grandma Hahn was a product of the same generation as my own grandparents, I am incredibly blessed for the gift of inheriting a grandmother who had the gift of bridging that generational gap.
Mike's Grandma was my friend. She was the closest grandparent I ever had, and she treated me like one of her own granddaughters. She read my blog, kept up with me on facebook, constantly complimented me on what a "great job" I was doing as a mother, asked me about my life, and showered love on my husband, my children, and me--in a lot of ways, she became the grandmother I always longed for.
Even into her 80s, she visited us multiple times here in South Bend, making the drive with a friend who was going to a quilting convention, and never complaining about it being any inconvenience- she wanted to be here. She read with the girls and had tea parties with them and joked and laughed with me and Mike. She had sass and pep and energy to spare-- certainly more than I've ever seen in any other woman in her 80s.
After her diagnosis, Mike and I had the beautiful privilege of going to visit her and we spent some of the most treasured hours I have had in my life. I was amazed that while staring down death she spoke to us with nothing but gratitude and had such an honest retrospective look at her life that didn't excuse things she wasn't proud of, but didn't wallow in any self-pity or excessive guilt. There was a confidence in God's mercy and peace in her being. She knew she likely didn't even have much longer to live, but she laughed, she shared, and she gushed all over Joseph, whose red hair she couldn't have loved more.
My sorrow is deep at the loss of this mother, grandmother, great grandmother and dear friend, but I am so grateful that I have her example to remember when I am, God willing, a grandmother some day. I hope that I can be the sort of grandmother she was, and I hope that I can open my arms so lovingly to granddaughters-in-law and do the wonderful job that she did in bridging the age gap and forming friendships, because hers is one that I will always hold close to my heart.
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and all the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen