Death has a funny way of changing your relationship and view of the loved one who has left this life. During our grieving process we often times immortalize the deceased and make them into something or someone they were not.
I am not the type that cries in public often! I am not the type that is going to show my weakness or love to complete strangers. Grief is such a personal thing.
Mary Elizabeth (Donkin) Hovan, My Grams passed away a week ago at the age of 89yrs. We were able to make it home for the funeral and have had plenty of time reflect on things as I see them.My Grandmother was never one to beat around the bush. She told it like it was! "Boy, girl you have packed on the weight!" "My gull what have you done to your hair." "Don't you think you have enough kids." "Don't be so stupid." It was often times hard to hear what she had to say.
Many of my memories of growing up were at her house or on a vacation with her and Papa. She loved to knit. She knitted baby hats for the hospital until her sight went on her then she made the pompoms for the tops of the hats. She tried on several occasions to teach me to knit. Being left handed, I proved to be a challenge for her that she never conquered. However, in her quest to teach me to knit she passed on her love to serve in quiet and small ways, and keeping her hands ever moving.Over the years distance provided a perfect excuse to neglect our relationship. We would chat a little every few months but we would always keep it short.
During Jake's first deployment I got my first glimpse into who my Grams was. During the onset of the war on terrorism Jake was going off to war and we had little idea what he was going into. I didn't hear from him for six weeks and then it was sporatic and short. Grams was one of the few people in the family that understood that. I would chauffeur her around during the time I spent at home. She would share her WWII experiences with me on our drives to the hair dressers or the grocery store- what she would send Papa in care packages, how she would wrap pickle jars in toilet paper, or she would rummage a few cigarettes to send so he could barter with them. She shared her many feelings and fears that she had during that time. It was a time we shared a common bond, a time we got along best.As we lay her body in the ground today I had a chance to reflect on my feelings for my Grams and the time I spent with her. I loved the lady!