Today, June 29, is the tenth anniversary of the day the sperm donor and I moved into the only home we have ever bought together. I remember the movers dumped all of our boxes into one room, even though I had, in my o-c way, labeled each and every one of them. I remember this house seemed so big then. I think we only had furniture for the living room and our bedroom. A couple of hand-me-down beds from my great aunt and suddenly we had guest rooms. I never envisioned at that time the little beauty who would live in one of those rooms today.
After we finished moving our few belongings into our home, we took a couple of helpful friends for dinner. When we returned home, my mother called, stating that my grandmother had just died. She had suffered a heart attack the week before. When we arrived at my grandmother's home, there were fire trucks and police cars all parked along the front of her house as though there was complete chaos inside. After the law enforcement left, my grandmother's minister came to the home, led us in prayer, and things calmed down. This was probably the worst day of my life. I remember returning to my new home, where I had neither toilet paper nor an assembled bed, and fell asleep on the couch with tissues in my hand, while the sperm donor slept on the floor next to me.
In the years since her death, I have come to realize how dear my grandmother was to me, something I wish I had truly realized while she was still alive. When I was a child, she would come to my house and we would have tickle fights. She was "Big Rascal" and I was "Little Rascal". I used to spend a week with her every summer and I remember she would always dress me up and take me to lunch at the Hemisfair Tower. One summer, I was ill for most of the week I spent with her, and I recall being so upset because we could not do anything fun. When we spent summers in Colorado, she would tell me about the mountains and the rocks (I recall from her memorial service the minister said "Amy loved rocks."), and I didn't care much then, but apparently I listened because I still remember it when I see those rocks. Now I am the one collecting the rocks on hikes and saying to the sperm donor "Here. Carry this." She kept every picture I drew her and every paper I wrote. She used to mail me Garfield cartoons from her newspaper every week. She signed all of her cards "GM". When I was in college, she would let me come over and do my laundry. When the sperm donor and I got married, we stored the top of our wedding cake in her deep freeze; later, she and her sister would say it sure tasted good.
Yesterday, I walked Anja around the house and showed her some pictures I have up of her great-grandmother, including the one of her sitting at the head of the dining room table which now sits in my home. I hope that wherever my grandmother is, that she can see little Anja - see her smile, she her laugh, see her as she studies herself in the mirror I bought for her crib, see her with her little thumb in her mouth. I know she would be proud.
I love you, GM. I miss you a lot too.