In Memory of Grandma Tia

After a whirlwind of health issues over the last several weeks, my maternal grandmother Elizabeth took her last breath this morning. She certainly didn’t go without a fight. There were at least three times over the last few weeks that I was sure it was the end but she rallied around and pulled through, not quite ready to go yet. She has always been a tough bird – you’d have to be to go through some of the things she has been through.

circa 1987/88

circa 1987/88… parents, why is there a wine glass on my leg??

At 94, my grandma had lived a very long, complete life. A woman of determination, she managed to live independently in her home until just a few weeks ago. Into her early 90s she still drove her car, went to the grocery store, shoveled her own sidewalk and refused to wear a hearing aid {against everyone else’s request}. Astonishingly, the only medication she took until very recently was her eye drops. She had so many friends and experiences and had an extremely rich life.

Holding her grandson for the first time. 1990

Holding her grandson for the first time. 1990

I’m not completely sure how my grandma became Grandma “Tia” – her friends called her Tin {something to do with Tin Lizzie because her name was Elizabeth} and my brother couldn’t say “tin” when he was little, so I guess “tin” turned into “tia” eventually.

My 18th birthday with my grandma and John, who was named after my late grandfather.

My 18th birthday with my grandma and John, who was named after my late grandfather.

I have so many wonderful memories of my “Grandma Tia” throughout my life. She has been very supportive, especially of my education, and I have always maintained regular contact with her. My grandma was sharp as a tack, witty, smart and very stubborn. She rocked the crossword puzzles and was always so with it. I hear she was also quite the bridge player. She was really involved with her church and her neighborhood.

Me with my mom and grandma in 2007

Me with my mom and grandma in 2007

While I will miss my regular conversations with my grandma, I will cherish the years and years of memories I have of her and know that she is at peace.

At my college graduation in 2008.

At my college graduation in 2008.