My last grandparent died on Saturday morning around five o’clock. You’ve seen me talk about her a lot. I call her G-ma. She’s the only grandparent I had left since 2003 when my other grandmother (on Umi’s side) passed away. She died on grandpa’s birthday, August 31st. Before her, grandpa died in February 1995, two months before my wedding. And 36 years ago, my paternal grandfather died. I was six, so I don’t have a lot of memories of him, but to this day, when I walk in that house, I can tell you exactly where his chair and table were, and how his pipes were laid out on that table. Every once in a while, I smell cherry blend tobacco. That’s how I know he’s visiting me. G-ma is with him once again.
Grandma Rainie was a strong woman. I mean, like you have no idea the amount of strength this woman had and the shit she carried on her shoulders. I think I got some of that from her because I always say I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. Just don’t let something happen to my mom and I’ll be fine. Rainie was a gentle spirit, blessed with a strong faith, wonderful sense of humor and a fierce love of her family. She made friends readily and in great abundance. During World War II while g-pa Dan served our country, she was on the home front building planes in Goodyear. She was a wing girl. She was active for many years with the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Auxiliary. She was also a retiree from Arizona State University.
Grandma Rainie was preceded in death by not only her husband, my g-pa Dan, but also my father Michael, who passed away last November, the day after Thanksgiving. She is survived by her daughter Danna Jo and her son Tony, and sister Olene. Grandma Rainie leaves nine grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, four great-great-grandchildren, and two grandpuppies. She also had many beloved nieces and nephews.
I have now reached the point in my life where I have no grandparents, and Umi and myself just aren’t getting any younger. But I do still have some family around who care, who let me cry on their shoulders, who support me emotionally and spiritually, and who cook for me when I need it, like yesterday.
So…hugs and love to my family. G-ma Rainie may be gone, but we’ve all been blessed with loving memories of her, and now she’s with g-pa.