At the end of March, my grandmother passed away. She was 97 years old, and although I am ultimately happy at the way her life ended (as she wanted it - still in her home, not in pain) I’m sad it had to end. She was a huge presence in my life and my brother’s life.
Over the past few years I’ve seen her a lot less. She wasn’t as comfortable leaving the house, and life for me got a lot busier after we had a second baby. Nevertheless, we did talk on the phone several times per week. She was always my favorite person to call - my brother stated it perfectly in her eulogy, she was a great listener and always interested in what was going on in your life.
I keep catching myself looking for my cell phone to call her and then remembering that she’s gone. Dominic has been having fun with T-Ball, which she would have loved hearing about. And I’m pretty sure Zach is starting to potty train, which also would have been a big conversation. As a music teacher, it’s time for spring concerts, and I’d always give her a ring on my way home to let her know how they went - and she’d always make sure to ask if I told my students I was proud of them, because that’s important. I’m leaving tomorrow for a 4 day trip with my students to perform in Philadelphia - and I know she’d have wanted the day-to-day plans. I would have ended our conversation today by saying “well, I’ll call you when I get back - I’ll probably be too busy with my students to talk on the trip.” but we both knew I’d call anyway once we got settled in our hotel rooms Thursday evening. And she’d pick up and pretend to be surprised.
For her funeral I played Ashokan Farewell. It’s such a beautiful song. The link below was my inspiration for how to handle the inflections and phrasing. I had a talented former student accompany me on guitar and we basically did what this recording does, minus the extra violins at the end. Give it a listen. And call someone you love.