I was reading blogs from my blogroll and this one really made me stop and think and realize that Granny's death has hit me a lot harder than I ever dreamed it would.
When I was a kid, I used to say that I had "spare" grandparents. I often volunteered to share my spare set with people. I was never really close to my step-father's family as a child. They were just kind-of there.
I grew up with my grandparents, all six of them, in the same general vicinity. Two sets of them lived in the same small town. I went to my spare grandparents' house on holidays and then went to my "real" grandparents' house as soon as possible. Even as a teen, I didn't see them much more than necessary. I had other grandparents, afterall.
When I was a young adult, I moved away from home. I didn't see much of my grandparents, any of them. I tried to stay in contact with my grandparents, my mother's parents and my natural father's parents, anyway. After Granny got sick, I asked about them more often, but didn't make an effort to really see them much. I did see Granny several times over the past few months. I made it a point to go see her when I was home for my internship.
I realized as I sat and spoke to this frail and very ill woman that she thought of me as her granddaughter. I got to know her a little bit while chatting during the commercials during Walker, Texas Ranger (one of her favorite shows along with Monk) and realized that though her body was weak, her sense of humor was intact.
The spunk that was Granny was still there. For an example... my favorite Granny story from the past few weeks is one told to me by my sister and mother today. It seems that my Aunt C kept telling Granny that she needed to stop watching Walker and Monk and instead talk to Jesus. Granny's response was simply that she would be able to talk to Jesus for eternity, but she didn't have much time left to watch Monk.
Now, only as an adult, do I realize the family dynamics that caused the lack of closeness and, while I don't pretend to understand or to like it, I do accept it for what it was. I had two other sets of grandparents, anyway, so my "spare" set were often an afterthought in my childish mind. It's only now as an adult and now especially after Granny's death, I realize how much I did love her and how special and lucky I was to have not one or two sets of grandparents who loved me, but three. They weren't spare, afterall.