march 26, 1917 - march 29, 2012
my incredible grandmother passed away last week, 3 days after her 95th birthday. she was a truly remarkable woman in every way. (for details on her life, you can read her obituary here if you'd like.) i was able to fly to indiana to be with her at the end, which was amazing; i've never had an experience like that.
she was a huge influence on my life and i will miss her more than i can possibly say. i am so so so incredibly lucky to have had her in my life as long as i did. she was always there for me. when i had a difficult decision to make, she was the one i would call to help me make it. she was loving and strong and caring and kind and compassionate. i am not very good at this; i cannot say what i am trying to say about her.
dommie's favorite flower was the pansy. she really loved pansies. as a tribute to her, and as catharsis for me, i have been making these pansy necklaces for the women in my family.
the idea started because i realized i could create the flower out of four hearts, the larger one to represent dommie, and the three smaller ones to represent her three daughters.
one of the reasons she loved pansies so much is because of the image of an angel inside.
i tried to portray that.
this is the one that i made for myself. the star is a bead from a necklace that she gave me for my wedding.
the ship (with her birthstone on the sail) is because of this:
what is dying?
a ship sails and i stand watching until she fades on the horizon and someone at my side says "she is gone." gone where? gone from my sight, that is all; she is just as large as when i saw her. the diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her. and just at that moment, when someone at my side says "she is gone," there are others who are watching her coming, and other voices that take up a glad shout, "here she comes!" and that is dying.
dommie asked us to read this to her over and over again in hospice. it brought her so much peace. she and i talked about who was waiting for her, and how happy they were that she was coming. and, she told me that she would be waiting for me when i came.
(dorothy, her name, is my middle name. when i was little i never liked it; people made wizard of oz jokes. now i feel so honored.)
before i left, my aunt asked me if there was anything i wanted to take. i took a sweater and a scarf of hers to wear on the plane, and a wonderful amish doll that she had made. i also took this necklace. it was the very first bezel set necklace that i ever made, half my life ago, and i sent it to her.
this world will never be the same now that the matriarch of our family is no longer here. and although i know that she had a very long and incredible life, there is no way i can describe how much i will miss her.