I was back in Illinois this past weekend for my grandmother's memorial service.
I'm glad that she's with my grandpa now, and with her sister Lois whom she was very close to, and all the other friends who went on before her.
But I will always miss her.
After the service, we had lunch at her house for the last time.
It was strange being surrounded by her things, her dishes, her antiques, her old photographs and framed samplers and quilts- each item familiar to me, each with a story, and each in its place, same as they had been for the last twenty odd years.
It was like basking in her presence for one more day- being with all the things she had gathered around her- and remembering all of the holidays, birthdays, graduations and other major life events we celebrated as a family with her as the heart and soul.
We stayed at her house until after the sun went down, watching old family videos trying to feel that nothing was changing- that this house would always be here, furnished just so, for us as a touchstone throughout the rest of our lives- but knowing, in truth, that this was the end.