“Hiiiiiii!” my step mother answered in an excitedly upbeat tone, “were you watching?”
“Oh no,” I replied, “watching what?”
My step mother knows everything there is to know about anything my husband or any of my husband’s friends have worked on. She’s the one who informs me when someone we know is in a commercial, or in a magazine or on the Today show. I’d be lost without her. In fact, I don’t even know the song Bring Him Home and my husband has been the Resident Director of Les Miz for almost a year and a half now.
“Oh, I’ll be sure to google it,” I replied, “they both have such gorgeous voices, but I’m actually calling to let Dad know that my grandma died.”
“Oh no!! Oh no!” she said, “oh, hold on I’ll go get him.”
My mother’s mother was 90. She had Parkinson’s disease and was as frail as a tiny bird when I took my son to see her last week. It was difficult for her to speak, but her mind was never more sharp. She still read a book a day and typed me lengthy emails on her iPad filled with parenting wisdom.
She was also an avid reader of this blog. In fact, she and my other grandma (who is 93) are the reasons I began a blog in the first place. They both put in the effort to keep up with modern technology, so I put in the effort to make it worth their while. No technical obstacle is insurmountable when you know photos of your only great grandson lie on the other side.
“Oh wait…you know what?” I called out to my stepmom, “Michael’s calling me. I just sent him a text a few minutes ago with the news. Can you tell Dad I’ll call him right back?”
“Hi sweetie,” I said as I clicked over.
“Hi kid. How are you?”
“Oh I’m fine, I’m fine. We knew this was coming, I just feel so lucky we made it up there last week. I’m just so glad she waited for us.”
I only see my grandma once a year since she and my grandfather decided to retire and live full time at their lake house in Northern Michigan. I think perhaps only Siberia is more difficult to get to, but it just so happened that Les Miz played in Kalamazoo, MI last week. I was able to rent a car and drive the 4 hours north with G and my fabulous aunt (my Dad’s sister), who volunteered to keep me company. Due to fierce January weather we were only able to stay less than 24 hours or be trapped in a blizzard for a week.
The little guy was afraid of his Great-Grandmother at first, which left her completely unfazed. She ordered me to have him run up and down the stairs, an assignment that left me nonplussed until I realized her bed was angled in such a way, she could watch him climb. While her body continually twitched and spasmed due to the effects of her illness, her eagle eyes never left that little boy. After some time he began to warm up and gingerly closed the distance between them. He started at the foot of her bed where he hid and then jumped out to say, BOO! Then he gave her knuckles. Next he held her hand. Then a hug. Then a kiss. Her grins expanded in direct proportion to his proximity.
She died exactly a week after we left.
“I’m sorry it took me a minute to call you back,” Michael said, “I was watching the show when I got your text, I looked down and read Gma died at 830 just as Peter (the actor who plays the lead in Les Miz) began to sing Bring Him Home. I just had to listen to the whole song.”