She was not your typical grandmother by any means. In every way, grandma Dorothey was her own flavor and that's what made her interesting. Some grandmas teach their grandchildren to bake from scratch or how to sew. Oh, no. Not Dorothey. She was the type of grandma that would let us stay up super late at her sleepovers while we would watch scary movies or marathons of the Golden Girls. She taught us how to play cards and how to lose with a gracious spirit. She believed in letting us learn things first-hand instead of just telling us no, so when I asked to try her cigarette as a young girl, she let me. And it taught me exactly what she wanted it to – YUCK! That was gross. She helped me pull off my first prank calls to a few local stores – I had no idea why I was asking if they sold Prince Albert in a can, but her laugh when the person would groan and hang up is something I’ll never forget!
|Myself, my grandma, and my twin sister Ashley|
She was fun, she was kooky, and she was the most blunt and honest person I've ever met. My grandma was a firecracker, that's just who she was. She was also a fighter until the very end - I have never known anyone so resilient and who fought SO hard. She taught me that you don’t give up just because the deck is stacked against you. You make the best of the hand you’re dealt and just keep moving forward. She was very sick for most of my life. What would have killed most people over a decade ago - no, she didn't let it get the best of her. Her tenacity was admirable.
Nobody ever thinks they will spend their entire retirement years in that state, yet she did. A few months ago she told my mom that someone had asked her if beating cancer had been worth it with the way her health deteriorated afterward. I'd honestly wondered that myself sometimes. But, you know what she said? She told my mom she could not believe someone asked her that question and when my mom asked what she'd told her in response, her reply was "Of course it was worth it because I got to watch my two granddaughters grow up."
That says a lot about her spirit and her will to live. Despite all the illness, all the heartache and pain, she would have done it all over again because she got to watch my sister and I grow up. I like to think my strong sense of loyalty to my family stem from what she always demonstrated for me in her life. She got to watch her first great-granddaughter arrive and share a birthday with her and two more great grandsons join the family just a few months ago. From the start of Piper's life five years ago, she told me that she felt such a special bond with her, and it's true. Her eyes absolutely lit up anytime Piper was around. She wasn't well enough to babysit her but she always offered anyway.
So, no, my grandma wasn't your stereotypical grandmother but I wouldn’t have traded her for the world. I loved her deeply and I will miss her with every fiber of my being. I am relieved that she is no longer suffering but I will miss her so much. We all will. Her ornery laugh, seeing her waddle/shuffle through the living room draggin' that darn oxygen cord all around the house with her. I will miss seeing Cotton Blossom come back at Bath and Body Works and grabbing her a bottle because I know she adores and misses that retired scent. I'll miss seeing Nag Champa in an incense shop and stopping to grab her a handful of sticks because it was her favorite.
I will miss so much about her. I love you, grandma, and so much of you will live on in me and my children.
Until we meet again.