This week was my grandmother's funeral in New York. I spent the past five days crying, laughing, exhausted, relieved and about twenty other emotions that I can't even figure out. The death of a loved one is a strange thing; one minute you are crying at a wake over the fact that you won't see that person again, and the next you are laughing with your cousins about funny stories from your past. There are ups and there are downs, moments of clarity and of confusion. I'll spare you the confusing thoughts and focus on the clarity. After thinking about my grandmother and our 38 years together, I have put together a short list of some of the things I have learned from her.
1. Always bring socks wherever you go. You never know when your feet will be cold.
2. Tuck a tissue in your shirt right under the wrist. You will be surprised how handy this actually is. A bit gross, but handy.
3. I learned that there is actually a Sacred Heart of Auto Society organization. I kid you not. I found about 15 medallions from them in my grandmother's stuff. =Who knew?
4. On the backs of photos, always write the names of the people pictured and the year it was taken. This is highly appreciated later in life when trying to remember who that "crazy aunt with the hat" is...
5. Drink tea at least three times a day. Even if it is only two sips. It makes everything better.
I drank tea with my grandmother every time we were together. Now, I will sit at my own table, with my own children, and we will drink tea and talk about all our wonderful memories with her. We will read the letters my grandmother and I shared, and I will teach them how to play Scrabble and dance the Peabody. And I will always treasure that cup of tea together and know that she is sitting at that table with us in spirit.