Three goodbyes.

(I had unrealistic intentions of writing once a week after my last blog. I've since conceded to writing at least once a month. So far I'm right on track...barely.)

Today I'm so thankful that we have taken pictures of our baby girl with all of her great grandparents. In October my paternal grandfather passed away after a stroke. In November my maternal grandmother also passed away after a stoke, leaving me with no grandparents in the space of just over a month. Earlier in January Matt's paternal grandmother passed away peacefully, leaving us with no grandparents. Three significant goodbyes in four months.

It's been bittersweet. They all lived long, full lives. I'd like to believe they could each look back & see the great impact they had on their children & grand children's lives; knowing that in their own ways they've helped shape Matt & I into the people we are today.

I was never particularly close with my paternal grandfather, although there's no doubt in my mind that he cared for his family. Having adopted two children, he had a huge part in completely altering lives. I've heard how proud he was of all of his grandchildren & upon hearing the name of his first great granddaughter he responded, "that's a good, strong name," something she will no doubt live up to in her lifetime. Although he didn't meet our baby girl until after his stroke, the look in his eyes upon seeing her showed nothing but admiration. That look is what I believe he had upon seeing everyone in his family.

My grandma had a huge impact on my life & there are remnants of her all throughout my house in the form if quilts, afghans, ceramics, dish cloths, china & a cross stitch. I also believe there are remnants of her in my own character. My grandma taught me unconditional love in a fierce way. She had an incredible sense of humour & loved to laugh. She loved her family & believed in each of us, giving us the confidence to try & achieve anything we wanted. I'm without a doubt my grandmothers daughter in that I'm all about accessories & enjoy shopping & I like to believe that has already been passed on to my 5 month old daughter. My last memories of her are watching her enjoy my sweet baby. She was so in love with her great grandchildren & I'm overwhelmed thinking about the special, though brief, bond she made with my girl.

Matt's grandma probably never really knew who I was. Unfortunately about the time I came into the family she had developed Alzheimer's.  Even though she never remembered me, I will always remember her. Like my grandma, there are remnants of her throughout our home in the form if Japanese dishes, knickknacks & a prized cross stitch. Matt's grandma was incredibly resilient; her life story is laced with overcoming obstacles. She was an generous host & probably the single most strongest female I have ever met. In the few years she was in my life I learned more than my fair share from her.

I've been reminded yet again how precious life is as I watch the life of my sweet girl while she grows & develops & reflect on how things came full circle with our grandparents as they became dependant on others for care once again. With a sweet babe who is five months old, I realize that time slips by far too quickly. With no great grandparents for my girl to spend time with as she grows, I know that stories & life lessons are now up to us to share.

There may be three lives recently lost, but more importantly there are three legacies still to live on.