My grandmother (“Grandma T” as my sister and I used to call her) passed away Wednesday afternoon, June 5th, at 1:07pm. She was with her sister and brother-in-law up until a few minutes before she passed.
Even in her wishes for funeral arrangements, services, and so forth, my grandma was frugal and simple to the end. She had a folder with notes detailing her wishes after she passed. She wanted to be buried in her sweat pants (“so I won’t get cold”), wanted the “cheapest” casket and casket lining they offer, “and don’t let them take you into the showroom, because they’ll talk you into spending more on my casket than I want people to spend!”
She wanted a closed-casket mass at the church she used to attend, but that she did not want a service at the burial plot because she didn’t want people to have to go through that. Grandma always hated it when people doted and paid “too much” attention to her.
My grandmother was a great woman who, despite her frugal and lean lifestyle, loved the little things that put a smile on her face.
She loved Magnum ice cream bars and Chinese food.
She enjoyed going to the movies with her best friend, Loraine, until she passed away some years ago.
She spent several years of her “retirement” volunteering at a local hospital, trying to make other people happy.
She looked forward to watching golf, daytime talk shows, and musicals.
She loved a good martini.
She also enjoyed Carlo Rossi wine and wine that came in a box.
She was fond of hot dogs with butter on the buns, instead of traditional condiments.
She almost always listened to big band music, such as the Benny Goodman Orchestra and Glenn Miller.
My grandma was the one who introduced me to The Nightmare Before Christmas.
In the end, she might not have gone as quickly and easily as she wanted, but I’m thankful she didn’t suffer through a long, drawn-out illness. She deserved better than that. Once she found out about the cancer, she told my parents, “at my age, you start to wonder how you’re going to go, but I never thought cancer would be the thing that got me.”
Now, hopefully, she’s somewhere better than here, reunited with her own mother, father, and best friend again. I agree with my uncle, who said that she probably did the Jitter-Bug all the way through the Pearly Gates, since she was finally pain and arthritis free.