Gregg and I took as much time off from work as we could today, and drove up to Portland to spend our day with Grandma Bessie. Technically she's Gregg's grandma, but she's been a wonderful grandma to me as well, from the moment we met.
Bessie's been very strong, independent, and really quite healthy for most of her life. But every body wears down eventually. The family is trying to get in as many hugs and kisses as we can while we still have the chance, but Grandma just isn't doing well anymore. And as much as we all try to be strong and to focus on remembering the happy and energetic Bessie, we know how much we'll miss her company when she's gone. It's a difficult time for everybody.
This is a picture of Bessie blowing out her 89th birthday candles last April. Cheers Bessie! You're a kind, gracious, beautiful person. I've loved your company, your stories, and your kindness. Thank you.
Update: Grandma Bessie passed away in the early morning Monday, January 23rd. I was able to return from Chicago a day early to attend her funeral on Friday, January 27th. It was a beautiful ceremony, and well attended. And it was wonderful and important to be able to hear others' memories of her, and share the experience with those who loved her.