Today, my mother's mother, Nanny Stuckless, died. I spoke to her everyday since January, except when I couldn't get through on the phone. We had a real relationship, based on sharing the minutiae of our days. She's the one who taught me how to make slippers at Christmas, and my twin how to make those wicked crooked mittens. I hung out with her in January leading up to her gallbladder removal, and in April we had a short but sweet visit when I was home for Pop's funeral. I usually called her from the bus to see how her day was going, what the news was, and which new Christian romance she was reading. She warned me about any recent Toronto murders on the news and marveled that with my busy Toronto life 'I still found time to call the likes of she' everyday, and I felt good. We always found stuff to talk about even though, due to her Pentecostal religious faith, I never did come out to her about my relationship and marriage to my wife. I didn't want her to have to waste her last years worried about my soul. But she probably guessed about Dawn and I - she stopped trying to marry me off to nice young men in her church a long time ago.
She'd been feeling pain in her side for a few weeks. We thought she had pneumonia - turned out it was breast cancer that had spread to her lung. The biopsy results weren't even back yet. We were still waiting to hear the prognosis, i.e.: how many months they'd expect her to live and then suddenly it was weeks, or days, or oops maybe just hours. It happened in a minute. Well, that's how it felt. I am going back to Newfoundland tomorrow to bury another grandparent, less than 6 weeks after my last. This horrible feeling is maybe the definition of being a grown up.
I made her a card in the art group I've been doing with clients at work and sent it on Wednesday. It makes me sad to think about it arriving at her home, the home she won't get to go home to again, and having no Nanny around to open it. Okay, that's about it for me tonight. (That's us taken during my January visit. I look pretty excited to be hanging out with her, eh?).