On saying goodbye

One of the things that brought me back to this long-neglected blog is my grandmother. I’ve written about her many times before. About what an inspiration she’s been, a role model and a wonderful grandmother. We named Courtney after her, which has always been hugely important to me. Baba, as we called her, was a writer and a mother and a strongly independent woman. She traveled the world and saw many beautiful things and took chances and didn’t allow the circumstances of her life get in her way or hold her back. She was remarkable.
 
My grandmother passed away not long after her 96th birthday. 
It’s taken me awhile to sit down and write about her, her life and her death. It’s been weighing on me heavily, the inablity to sit down and write about her without breaking down into sobs. The ugly ones.
Baba was a fixture in my life for as long as I can remember. She was a New Yorker through and through, though not by birth but as a transplant, and if not for her Colombian accent, you wouldn’t have known it. She loved New York and all that it had to offer. She embraced the people, the culture, the good and the bad, the museums, the food, the movies – everything that made it the epicenter of the universe. We would take the bus or the train or drive in from Hartford to spend weekends or spring breaks with her. We’d go to the theater or the movies or the Met and almost always the same chinese restaurant several times a year. She’d come to Hartford and spend weekends and holidays with us but her heart strings would pull her back to the city. As we grew older, and she grew shorter, our trips were less frequent but always a wonderful time. Her apartment on the Hudson was always a sweltering 85 – winter or summer – and she snored like a very large man, but they were always worth it. 
I can remember times as a small child when we’d sit in the den and she’d brush my hair or rub my back. I can remember WAY back to a time when she babysat for me while my parents went to Hilton Head and we flew down to meet them. I don’t
know how that worked because she didn’t drive… She was there in my earliest memories, always a figure to admire, a person to love.
Baba’s been gone almost a month now, but in some ways she’s been gone several years. Because we live 900 miles apart, my visits with her have been few and far between. Every time I saw her, the changes were drastic. She was smaller, less of her former self. I’m not sure she knew who I was all the time and I know she couldn’t hear me well. She knew that my kids were her great grandkids but maybe not which ones. It’s been hard. So hard. And while I know she’s in a better place, it doesn’t make the loss any easier. 
I know we have our memories and we have to keep them fresh and alive to keep Baba alive in our hearts. I want my kids to know who she was and I’ll make that a point in raising them. I miss her. I miss her so much and while we haven’t had much of a relationship in several years, it doesn’t make the loss any less severe.

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Comments

  1. Pops says:

    Karen,

    This beautiful, Baba would have treasured it.

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