14 March, 2011

Beverly Rose

On 13 September 2010 my grandmother Bev passed away. In her eulogy on this blog I said a lot of what I would like to say here. 

Bev came into my life when I was in my later teens. My grandpa married her in 2000. She was there for me during some hard times in my family, and I think is one of the major reasons there wasn't move division because of what happened. She was a dear friend to me. At her funeral the true impact of Bev's life came to light. Her burial and service were a celebration, what every Christian's funeral should be. Yes, I miss her terribly. I look at her picture sometimes and just want her here to tell me what to do. But she is home, and healthy. And I know I will see her again someday. 

She was a second mother to me, a mentor, a dear friend. I was never treated any different than her "real" grandkids. Someone mentioned at how well my grandpa and Bev had done at "blending" their families - and they had. She filled a deep hole for most of us. I know she impacted my mother dearly, and brought 10 years of joy to my grandfather. She was wonderful. 

I leave you with what I have already said about this incredible woman: 

I think what I miss is the things Bev won't be there for - I really wanted her to help me plan my wedding, I wanted to take her a pre-copy of my first book... She called me every Sunday night was I in DC. Like clockwork. It would be a fifteen minute phone call, we would run through the aspects of my life, my family, her and my grandpa, and she would hang up.

She was direct, fiery, sassy, classic, elegant, fun, easy going, loving, giving... I think I saw a lot of me in Bev. I can see her as a spunky, no nonsense girl at Wheaton in the mid-40's, not accepting gender lines or being told what to do. She could come off brisk, and over-opinionated - but it always came from a heart of love. She didn't mince words. I can't tell you the number of times I was in CA and would pull my hair back only to be told it looked better down. Or that I shouldn't slouch in pictures, or one time my grandpa took some photos of me in a dress they bought me for Easter - and a week later I got copies of the pictures, along with a post-it on the back of each explaining what I could have done better. I laughed so hard when I got that! It all came from a heart of love.

Maybe because I see myself in her is why we got along. When nothing in my family made sense I could go to Bev. She was in a lot of ways a healer to me for things that happened right after she came into our family. I saw my grandpa change for the better the ten years they were together. Almost any long weekend I could take from DC I went to CA to sit in their backyard and be with them. 

I loved Bev and while we knew this was coming, while we were told in January the tumor in her brain would probably take her by Christmas, it's still hard. It was hard to listen to her deteriorate, to go from being so self-sufficent and active and feisty at 86, to unable to do anything for herself, and slurring her words, and knowing she slept almost all the time. But she is home now. Home and whole. Someday I will sit with her - and Grandma Marion, and Jean - and that is something I cling to. That and the legacy all three of those women left in my life, and how I can ensure my nieces understand the amazing women who went before them.

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© Amanda Lunday