I feel as though I lost both of my grandparents over the course of the weekend.
When I was growing up, we saw my Mom's parent's occasionally, but not often. Until, of course, I was in high school and they moved to the town that was three hours away. Then we spent quite a bit of time there.
But when Grandpa was diagnosed with colon cancer in September of 1995, we were in Wisconsin and they were in Illinois. I was preparing to marry Jon, so I had my own things going on.
Then when he died 14 months later, I had a 2 month old baby at home. Making our way to Hannibal, MO for the funeral just wasn't possible.
So, I don't have any idea where I thought Grandpa had been all this time, but apparently, he wasn't dead.
Because on Sunday afternoon when I am standing at the spot where my 89 year old grandmother would be buried the next day, for several minutes, it does not occur to me that Grandpa is there too. I saw his marker, with his name and it still took me by surprise.
And then it hit me like a Mack truck.
Both my grandparents are dead. Holy crap, how did that happen?
So the next morning, with my parents, my sister, 2 aunts and uncles and some of my cousins, I stood at the casket of what used to be my grandma and just felt all kinds of emotions.
I can't really see through the tears right now, so bear with me.
The woman in the casket was not my grandmother. She may have been at one point, and if you could look at her nose, her chin and strangely enough, her ears; then she was my grandmother. But she wasn't. This woman was tiny and frail and that was not our grandmother. She was strong and hugged us tight every visit and made molasses taffy.
She wouldn't tell us that she loved us, but I knew she did.
Honestly? I'm finding myself mourning my grandpa and my grandma, for what she was and what she could have been to me.
This is hard.