One year ago my grandmother died. I didn’t really know my grandparents on my father’s side of the family at all since they died before I was born and when I was really young. I have some memories of my grandfather from my mother’s side of the family, but again he died when I was fairly young. I mainly remember him making terrible puns and me playing with legos at his funeral, confused as to what exactly was going on. My grandmother on the other hand lived until she was 99. She would have turned 100 if she was still alive today. What a quitter.

All awful jokes aside, I’m glad my grandmother didn’t have to live much longer after her health started declining. Her physical health had obviously been bad for a while, being in her 90s and all, but she was always still mentally well until her final few months. Obviously she was getting forgetful, and sometimes we worried she was confusing bad dreams for people actually knocking on her window at night. But she always remembered us and did well for herself, even living independently until her last year. Can you imagine that, still living on your own at 99? I spent a few years doing her groceries every week and she would give me five bucks in return, which I’d then spend on candy and soda. I was poor a lot when I was young because working while studying just wasn’t something I was capable off until I learned to deal with my autism way better.

I sometimes deliver mail in the street where my grandma used to live and that’s a strange experience. I’m not a very emotional person, as probably is obvious by the clear jokes earlier this post, but I do get sentimental when I walk past that house and see some other old person living there instead. When I was younger and just a mess of a human being, I would often leave my own house to spend some time at grandma’s place. I didn’t get along with my parents, I didn’t have a lot of friends and school was going terribly for several years. I would always go to my grandma, drink some juice and eat some chocolate and complain about how difficult life was. And the woman who used to spend all day cleaning someone’s house and getting worked to the bone for less than a livable wage would sit there like a saint and listen to me complain. She’s helped me through a lot of terrible times, and I will be forever grateful for it.

My brother actually went and visited her grave this morning. I know that my mother lit a candle in her honor and I’m sure several of my family members are doing similar things. That’s not really for me, so I’ll honor grandma in the only way I really know how to do anything, and that is by putting my thoughts on paper.

You were there for me when I needed you most, and I hope that throughout the years I was able to repay that kindness. Be it by walking you around town, doing your groceries, visiting you regularly or calling you when you were feeling unwell. I even went and visited you at the hospital when you were there, I remember how much the other people in the same room got along with you.

I hope that one day I can pay forward the kindness you’ve shown me, and although I don’t believe in god the way you did, I hope you found peace wherever you are now. 

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