She was a tough lady. Blunt, sarcastic, firey, funny. Growing up, she'd come to visit at the holidays and a few times outside of the holidays and I am not sure who I was more afraid of - her or my mom. I mean, she was the reason my mom was tough so it makes sense that I'd be afraid of her too.
She was a military spouse like me...only much better. She saw my Grampa through WWII (he was a Seabee) and Korea (he was in the Army). The sacrifices she and my Grampa made during those two wars are so far above and beyond the things I deal with now in regard to military life that it's like comparing apples and oranges. Anytime I started to feel sorry for myself and ramp up the pity party, all I had to do was think of her and my perspective was set right.
She always slept in my room when she came to visit (which makes sense, given the fact that I grew up in a 2BR house) and the room always felt empty after she left even though it was so small.
My Grampa died when I was 2 so I never knew her with him. It was always just her. She did really well, living on her own. She had a little retirement apartment down near Biloxi and a family friend kept watch over her and she did well. After Katrina hit in 2005, mom and dad decided to move her up to live with them which is where she stayed until complications from Congestive Heart Failure forced her into the hospital and then into a nursing home.
She died this morning. My hope is that she's with Grampa now as well as my Dad. It's not been a good year for our family and I am weary of it. My hope is that we're done with the major life changes for a while now.
I'll miss you Grama. Say hi to Grampa and Dad for me.