Such is Life: 93 Years Young

My grandmother had a saying - "such is life" - a phrase that basically means that things just happen in life and there's little you can do about them but accept them. I don't know where she picked this up from or when she started saying it, but I think if you asked me or my cousin Bethann what words would most evoke her memory, the answer is obvious.

That said, I credit her for NOT just accepting life's undesirable handouts. While she might have wrote off some unsavory experiences, uttering a sigh and a brief "such is life", let me tell you, this was less of a resignation and more of the wisdom to recognize what just wasn't worth the worry. She wasn't one to dwell on the past or unfortunate circumstances.
Our wedding reception
Every time I've seen my Gramma in recent years, I've marveled at how sharp she still was. Apparently, at 93, I expect to be a babbling fool, but her wit and alertness at her age impressed me. And her continual strength. There have been numerous hospital visits over the years, and one of her most recent appointments revealed that she might have to have her foot amputated due to some circulation issues. Obviously, very troubling news, but she accepted this with as much grace as you can muster in that kind of situation. Such is life, right?

She didn't make it to that surgery. After being discharged from the hospital and undergoing a different procedure to open up the blockage in her vein, she went home and spent time with her beloved kitties and her family that lives nearby as her condition declined. Having lost four of her children already - what better example of strength is there than persevering through that? - her three remaining children were nearby when she took her last breath.
My college graduation
In our family, I think I am most like my Gramma. At least in the fact that we both seem to be strong introverts with overall quiet mannerisms. Look for her at any family gathering, and you'd likely find her tucked in a comfy chair just content to absorb the conversation and commotion around her. Growing up, you'd often find me hidden away in her bedroom at gatherings, seeking quiet and stealing some quality time with my cousin.
How cute was Gramma in her pajamas?
Gramma was independent. Oh, I couldn't even count the number of exasperated phone calls I received from my parents as they explained how frantic and panicked they were because nobody could get a hold of Gramma. She wasn't home and of course she didn't carry a cell phone. Amusement crept into the conversation when it was revealed that oh, she'd just headed down the street to get her hair done. I've made some big decisions in my life - moving away from home, traveling, and overall, exercising my independence. I like to think she and I share this value, making our own way in life and thinking for ourselves

The last time I saw Gramma was at the memorial gathering for her daughter, my Aunt Jean. Shortly after she arrived, I went up to her and asked for her to take a picture with me. She grabbed my hand and said "of course; you're my granddaughter." Brief exchanges like that were so meaningful to me.
My last photo with Gramma
You are an inspiration, Gramma, and you are so loved and so missed. <3 Sigh. Such is life.


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