Saturday morning, 6 months after realizing she was ill, my grandmother passed away. It was her second encounter with cancer, and she decided not to fight it. When I asked her why, she said that since my grandfather had died 10 years ago, and since so many of her friends had passed, she didn't see what was left to live for.
She was excited about Alastair, and evidently talked about him all the time, but I don't think she saw that she could be an active participant in his life.
She was not excited about her relationship with her daughter, my mother. The two of them had been at loggerheads since my mother was a child, when a thyroid condition made my grandmother an unbearable witch. Unfortunately, all the medication in the world can't erase the emotions attached with an unpleasant childhood, and my mother never let go of her anger.
So it was with great peace the she accepted her fate, and I believe that she was looking forward to going home to God.
I spoke with her a couple of weeks ago, and asked her to tell my grandfather that I miss him, and that I'm trying to raise Alastair in his image. She told me that she had really enjoyed her time with Alastair, and that she had been holding on to hope of seeing him at Christmas this year.
I'm a little sad, but her illness has been so protracted that I've done most of my mourning. I'll be too busy settling her estate to have time for much more mourning.
Catherine Vernell Chamberlain, you will be missed.