Saturday, September 10, 2005

remembering my Grandma

I've been thinking a lot about my Grandma, who died a year ago today. She was such a wonderful, sweet, and generous woman. Even though she lived a very difficult life, she seemed to be perpetually sacrificing her own needs for the happiness of other people. Here is a letter she sent me, just after I moved to Miami:

10-27-03

Dearest Matt,

I hope sincerely that you'll be happy in Miami, and that your career progresses to your own satisfaction. Be patient and hopeful - it's always difficult in the arts and music to get started.

Here's a bit of an emergency fund until money starts coming in - don't be bashful about using it - do what's necessary. I love you and wish for your success and happiness.

Best regards to Karyn. I still would love to have a picture of you both.

Much love,
Grandma


Note: Be careful - I understand that Miami is a rough city now - I visited there when your mama was about four, and Barbara was seven - it seemed like heaven after living in Cleveland. - H
It's sad to think of all the things I might have said and done for her, that might have given her a little bit of happiness - like sending that photograph she asked for. She was sometimes difficult to talk to, because she would recite all her worries and anxieties, which of course were born of her great compassion but could seem overwhelming.

I loved to write to her, though, and to read her gracefully handwritten replies. When she died last year, I felt like I had lost the one person I could always confide in. I suppose this blog, and a journal I began writing shortly after her death, have been my way of trying to make up for a small part of that lack. Nothing I write could encapsulate the person she was, though, or console all of us who still miss her terribly.

2 comments:

Brynne10 said...

Hello, Matt,
I just got word today that my Grandma's treatment for her bone marrow cancer will be ending this Thursday. I'm going through the crying thing now, and have been surfing the web for things that I can do to save her memory for my newborn son and future generations. I'm beginning to experience a little bit of those emotions: guilt, fear, hopelessness, etc. I have never experienced a death in the family this close before, and news of this is a shock to me.

My grandma and I chatted last evening about many things, always about her health. I worry about her a lot, but her courage gives me hope. After hearing the bad news from my mom this afternoon, I reminisce about our chat last evening and how strong and hopeful she sounded. If she only knew the news, would she sound any different? I doubt it - she's always been a very strong woman.

She is our pillar in our family - no doubt. And I will miss her terribly when she leaves. Hopefully not anytime soon...

Matt Heller said...

Hello Brynne,

Thanks for writing and sharing your sorrow - she does sound like a remarkably strong woman. It's very difficult to go through, losing someone so dear - I think the best thing to remember is that we ourselves, their children and grandchildren, will be their most lasting legacy, and we can honor them by living in the most meaningful and courageous way possible every day.

Best wishes to you both!