The first time my father called tonight, I didn’t pick up the phone. Figured I’d catch him on messenger instead of be cut short by sketchy AT&T coverage.
But I should have known when he called back a few minutes later. He calmly told me my grandmother passed away.
Three such calls have come before. None have come as a surprise, but all of them came with a blow to the heart.
The grandparent I was closest to over the years was the last one to leave us. I cherish the memories I have sitting across the table at the Tiffin Room chatting with her. She told me I could choose anything I wanted off the menu and I took advantage of her generosity by selecting the French dip. And vanilla milkshake. The kind served in a tall glass with skinny spoon.
I spent many late nights typing away at her keyboard because I couldn’t afford a computer while in college. Occasionally, I’d take a break and chat with her about the latest book she was reading. She told me about many historic figures. She explained the Civil War in all its brutality. I’d never met anyone who devoured books like she did.
She kicked my butt at Jeopardy.
Those discussions with my grandma were as much of my college education as the courses I paid to attend.
She carried herself with grace. She had her hair done every Friday and couldn’t pass up an Estee Lauder stand. While shopping for accessories, she once told me was searching for something with “a splash of red”.
I can’t wait till I can sip another vanilla milkshake with her again.