Liv, Liz, and Life
There are few words that could not be attributed to my life-long best friend. Amazing, yep, challenging, you betcha, infuriating, that is an understatement. But my favorite word for her, is grandma. The luck of my birth has been felt continuously as I spent my days with this woman. Thousands of children are born every day, thousands more people die, move away, get too busy, forget their responsibilities, check out on their families, you get it. How I was the one to be born in my place, at my time, to my family, boggles my mind.
As a baby I was the one to make her a grandmother, perhaps earlier than she had hoped, but she would never say that to me. As an adult I was the one to add great to her title when my own children were born. When I was small and angry with my parents I would call her on the phone in a ill-conceived attempt to intimidate them to comply with my wishes. I trusted her with my troubles and called her to share in my joy.
Some people struggle to find someone to confide in, to run away with, to form a connection, to make their best friend. Sure, I have had friends, some were elevated to "best friend" or "bff" and I would label my spouse as one of my best friends. But my relationship with her is that of MY BEST FRIEND! Even that doesn't cut it for showing the importance and special role she has had in my life. I was recently reminded by a friend that I would say is "one of my best friends" that I have long held my grandmother above all others and it made me pause.
I guess, in my mind, everyone has a family member best friend. I assumed that my relationship was not anything special, and was just the way it is between grandparent and child. Now I wonder to myself how, if it is not common, I got to be best friends with her. How I got to be the passenger on her trips, to sleep over countless weekends, and harass her to quit smoking and wear her seatbelt. We have long running jokes and silly sayings. She knows just what to say when I am sad or angry, and is honest with me about her own hopes and dreams. We can talk for hours about nothing or quickly about something important.
My mother jokes about my being born middle aged: my fashion sense, humor, and hobbies trend toward someone who has spent more years on earth. In truth I am often more comfortable around persons twice my age than my peers. I cannot be sure this is a product of my best friend situation, or if I was just born with a personality that trends toward "old soul." Maybe she and I are close because thats just the way I am, but that brings me back to my luck of birth again. I feel most comfortable milling around the kitchen with her slicing bread, stirring sauce, or sipping reheated but somehow still cold coffee.
As I think about what life will be like without her, the space around me feels like an endless void. I do not know how to begin but I do know she would not want me to give in to that feeling. I picture her, sitting by my side, smiling, laughing, making me feel less scared. I see her gathering herself to face this challenge head on, rethinking strategies in the face of new adversity, and finding strength to continue the pursuit. This relationship has been formative for me and I can only hope to live up to the person she taught me to be. To love, to laugh, to inspire, and to find hope in even the most impossible situations.
I now wonder what she pictured when she spoke with me; when we sat for hours chatting and planning; when she called me into the kitchen to help; when she let me tag along everywhere she went. I want to ask her why I was so lucky? What did she see in me? Why did she choose me? I wish I had asked, but now it is too late. I hope she never wondered about me... and if she did, I hope she knows, I chose her, and I still choose her. I will always choose her, and I will try to make her proud that she chose me.
5/9/2018 12:55:01 pm
Liz that is lovely. I just passed your website on to a friend who will be a grandmother in October. Her daughter expressed an interest in cloth diapers so I marketed for you.
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I am a highly opinionated and sassy mother of three and wife to one. I hope you enjoy reading about my efforts to tackle the infuriating obstacles of life using straight talk and humor. If I say it, I mean it, or maybe I am being sarcastic. I like to focus on topics from my everyday life: parenting, cooking, crocheting, and a whole list of other things that inspire my rage.