My grandmother, better known to us grandkids as "Momo", passed away on Friday night at the age of 72. She had been battling kidney cancer for two and half years, and while I'm glad her pain is gone, I wasn't ready for her to go. Today, my sister and I fly down to Alabama to be with family this week. I had trip planned to visit her at the end of this month, as I was worried and wanted to see her before I was too far along in my pregnancy to travel. Sadly, it seems it was a little too late.
As the oldest two grandchildren by 10 years, we were lucky enough to spend thirty years with grandparents who always seemed so young in comparison to others. As the oldest grandchild, I had the all important grandparent naming rights. Hence the name Momo, which I think was simply an extension of mom. Perhaps more strange was my choice of D-daddy for my grandfather, which stemmed from my inability to say "Granddaddy".
It would be difficult for me to imagine a grandmother more ideal than Momo. She was endlessly cheerful and in good spirits, even when dealing with horrible side effects from immunotherapy drugs to treat cancer. Whenever things went wrong, she just uttered her trademark term "oh well". I, who was much more impatient and temperamental, always wished I could better emulate her.
I always felt that she was a key connection to my mom, who passed away nearly ten years ago. She and my mom were similar in their calm attitude in an environment of chaos. (My mom could withstand a peanut butter sandwich in a VCR, while Momo had 4 children some of whom especially kept her busy). Of course, mom was a little more fiery and ready for debate, but I'd say she got that from D-daddy. I am glad to know they are together again.
Momo offered the best sympathies as I struggled to get pregnant. She would tell me with annoyance how her friends kept telling her that "things would happen when the time was right" and would instead relate to my frustration. She was the second family I told when I finally got that positive pregnancy test in January, and she was so very excited about the prospect of her great-granchild. She immediately began crocheting a girl baby sweater, and after that she completed a boy's one too. When I mentioned my nervousness about the potential for miscarriage, she advised that it was pointless to worry. She said that cancer had taught her to embrace good news whenever it comes your way and not to fret over the bad unless you had too.
I miss you Momo.