Friday, December 13, 2013

Angel Mimi

About two years ago, while pregnant with our first child, Grandma pondered, "what will your baby call us?"  I sent her a list of possibilities I found online, and she and Grandpa decided on "Papa and Mimi".

Perfect, if you know them.

Since then, I've grown even closer to Grandma, bonding over pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood. Bonding over things that make us crazy.

She passed this Tuesday after saying goodbye to her loved ones.  I can't belive it.  It's hard to imagine life without her laugh, warm hugs, and reassuring advice.  I will miss her so.  I try to take comfort in the circle of life, the wisdom she's given me now becoming ingrained in memory.
"You're too hard on yourself."
"That sounds like a great idea!"
"Keep at it."

"I love you."  She told us this over and over, throughout our lives- her six children, children-in-laws, grandchildren, and Josey, the first great-grandchild.  How could we not know that?  There is no way.  You always felt important and appreciated with Grandma.

Since saying goodbye, we've obligatorily returned back to "normal life" for a couple days.  I spoke to my mom on the phone, moments after Mimi passed, moments before leaving to conduct a choir concert.  "Take joy in what you do tonight," she said.

I did because VSA exudes joy, and because she was there.  Angel Mimi.

Yesterday, Uncle Steve sent me her beautiful obituary.  A passage to share:

"Vicki means much more. She is, of course, OJ and Dolly’s daughter: red hair and blue eyes and freckles and curls. She was devoted to her big sister Nancy, providing care and support through her long battle with breast cancer. For her children, she was wise, feisty, passionate, selfless, giving, and courageous. And friends of her children (and grandchildren) always found a warm home, a full plate, and a fair dose of unsolicited parenting. She taught us all the enduring value of hospitality. These things carry on. 

In short, Vicki is a sparkling example. Of joy and compassion. Of endurance, humility, and generosity. Of grace. Of what can happen if, when faced with adventure, a girl is willing to squeeze the hand of the boy she loves, look him in the eye, and say: “Let’s go.” 

We see you in Tony’s constant love, in raucous dinner-table laughter, the joyous echo of a family song, in the soft purple and sharp red of an evening Montana sky, and the formidable, comforting flow of the river. 

And we’ll never stop looking. 

Good night. 
I love you forever and ever. 

Josey and I went for a walk down our road yesterday, and the sky was striped peach and periwinkle over snowy blue mountains.  A bright orange cloud appeared, looking curly, looking inspirational.  Her, without a doubt.  We won't stop looking for Angel Mimi, won't stop trying to emulate her open and giving love, her spunk and spark.

This weekend, I look forward to playing Papillons (below) for her, and joining James to honor Mimi and Papa with "The Wedding Song".  Thinking of everlasting love, butterflies and cycles and new life.

All my love, Grandma Vicki, we will miss you so.

Love, Numero Uno.

Read her entire obituary here.

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