April 25, 2008

One Last Push

Patsy (right) with her bestie Marianne at one of many, many parties thrown by our family 

We lost my Gram last week. She kept her spunk and spirit until her very last days when she left on her terms - at her home with her children around her. Her and I shared many things, one of them being our love for words. She graduated from Indiana University in 1951, at a time when it was not the norm for women to go to college. She was a master crossword puzzler, avid reader, and corrected our grammar every chance she could. We had an understanding, her and I, we still do. I feel connected to her now and know I always will. 

I saw her in February before the cancer ravaged her body and took her speech. We chatted and both knew when I left to come back to L.A. that it may be our last visit for a very long time. I was able to see her before she passed, only hours and I was there to watch her go, but communication had been cut off by then, although I know she knew I was by her side. 

My mother shared a conversation she had with Gram Patsy a few days earlier, in a moment of lucidity. My mother was telling Gram that I was thinking of her, but was in Los Angeles so I could not be there. Gram nodded that she understood and said, "I know she can do it," several times. When my mother asked her what Gram knew I could do she never got a response. When mom told me this she threw out the possibility that maybe she knew that I could make it back home before Gram left us for good. But I knew exactly what she meant as soon as the words came out of my mother's mouth. 

Gram knows I can finish this thesis. 

This May is officially 2 full school years that have passed since I finished all my class work and have just owed them a thesis - I'm sure it's some kind of record.

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