Everyone has their own personal form of a hero, someone they unconditionally look up to and aspire to be like. A person who is so perfect, it seems surreal that someone so grand could exist in such a jaded world. Josie was real. Everything about her was real. She took pride in who she was, and pride in her family. She was and always will be the epitome of perfection.
I am among the elite lucky group who has known their hero their entire life. My hero is the individual whom I most aspire and wish I could be like. My strongest character traits come from her to look up and to guide me with her love, kindness and compassion.
In my world, my hero is just known as Grandma or Josie to some. She is so much more than the title of grandma. She is the mender of broken hearts, the doctor of all ailments, philosopher of greats wisdoms, and above all else: she changes the hearts of everyone who meets her. In her own way she is a magician, providing insight of greats times followed through with an inquisitive look into the future. It is impossible to be engaging in a conversation with her without cracking a smile, or bursting into laughter. She is a bringer of light, and one can’t help but be happy in her presence.
She is a saint in a world of sinners; an ever blooming garden in a dark world. My relationship with my grandma has been a prominent part of my twenty-five-years of existence. I could list every great memory I have with my grandmother, but that would consist of every single moment I spent with her.
The one moment that sticks out the most with me, we were foolish and sneaky. Since I have been a child my grandma has remastered over and over my baby blanky, anytime I would come to visit I would bring my trusted blanky along with me. One day, my blanky was draped over her donkey that she brought back from a trip to Mexico. My blanky proved to be destructive and was too heavy for him to support and broke the donkey in two. We secretly glued the donkey back together and no one ever knew the difference. We still chuckled at this secret up until a few months ago when we would both glance at the donkey and know what had happened. Odd, how I recently discovered in some cultures donkeys are a sign of healing.
Grandma, you continue to amaze me.
I always connect my Grandmother, with flowers. Every time I enter her house, the perfume of her beautiful indoor garden of flowers greets me. Her favorite flower, the one that seems to only properly bloom for her indoor—the hibiscus. It is rare in its beauty, just like she is. The hibiscus, just like the one in my grandmothers house can flourish even when its outside of its normal environment and forced to change to accommodate to life in a new world. The flower goes beyond just surviving, in fact; it continues to bloom, and with each new bloom is a beautiful new, different flower. It’s roots spread, and its beauty blossoms into other small blooming flowers, continuing its own life, and creating other new beacons of beauty along the way.
My grandma Josie is my heart. As I am sure she is for all of you.
She is every reason why your heartbeat is so strong, for you hold her strength. You hold a part of her within you; this is the part of you that makes you great.
It is why you take extra concern to share kindness with those around you.
It is why you always listen to her orders to keep warm and bring mittens, just in case you find yourself in the cold or you find someone else in the need of warmth.
It is why you are generous with your time, your love and your life.
Her gracious and beautiful soul had insight stemming from the heavens. Within her heart lie the key ingredients to perfection. There never was, and never will be an individual as loved as Josie. Being blessed to call her my grandmother is the magnum opus relationship of my life.
I recall with great fondness our nightly conversations about the moon and the stars, and the beauty that captivates the night sky. The night will now bring contentment; the bright glowing moon and twinkling stars is a constant reminder that we are still connected. Even from another world you will always light the dark night for me, and for all who love you.
Our hearts feel heavy, and weak. A huge part of our hearts and being left this world on January 21st, so the emptiness we feel right now. That is just because she took a small piece of us with her, to forever be surrounded by our love.
She changed our world. Continue watching for signs of greatness coming our way, that will be her sending out her love. She will serenade us with birdsong, or the blooming of a beautiful flower. Grandma has her ways, she always has. In life she made certain we all were content, her spirit will continue doing just the same.
Looking back at her life, what a wonder it was. What a wonder she was.
She raised three beautiful children, and watched them succeed in life. She had three grandchildren, was blessed to meet her very first great-granddaughter. She lived a rich full life, one with no regrets. For such a tiny being, she left a huge imprint on our lives. Someone so small changed our entire world. Everything good in our lives is a result of having known her.
It is time to say farewell until we meet again.
Grief is an ocean, it is deep and dark and bigger than all of us. The seeds of grief are quiet, persistent and unfair. Over time they will diminish with faith and love. By the knowledge that every individual who knew Josie was changed by her. That we were lucky enough to meet someone so wonderful that makes missing them so challenging.
Grandma, every tear we cry assimilates a great loss, ultimately heavens gain. Lessons learned from your absence will still materialize in generations to come. We are better for knowing you, and will continue to bless the world and do honor by your name.
Take our love and let it guide you on your next journey
In the darkness of my grief, I was comforted by words in a Winnie The Pooh storybook, these words read in my mind in the voice of my grandma. I am sure she would want them shared with all of us here today,
“ If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember. You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart, I’ll always be with you”