Slice of Life Challenge Day 29 #sol18

My wife’s grandmother passed away yesterday…


My wife’s grandmother passed away yesterday.  Her father’s mother.  And so, predictably, memories of my own mother’s passing came flooding back, like a wave of water finding a crack in a levy.  My wife described her grandmother as gracious and generous, the kind of grandma who went out of her way for her grandkids.  Sitting in darkness last night,  my wife and I huddled beneath hand-crafted blankets.  With the kids finally asleep, we quietly whispered about some of the similarities between her wonderful grandmother and my beautiful mom.  There seemed to be several important and wonderful ones.

Death is a strange thing.  Especially in its permanence.  For me, I find my mom’s departure to be something  I must constantly remind myself actually happened.  That yes, it’s real.  That yes, on that terrible day, April 21, 2017, my father and I had to slowly and reluctantly leave her in a hospital bed- because she had passed.  That she would not be calling anymore.  That she would not be flying across the country anymore toting mounds of presents for my children.

According to my wife, her grandma specialized in small acts of generosity that really made a grandchild feel loved.  My mom, too, definitely specialized in acts of generosity that made all those around her feel loved.  During her last visit, she arrived with an entire suitcase filled with gifts- word searches, crafts, stuffed animals, games.  That morning I held my iPhone in video mode to capture the ecstatic joy she brought to the faces of my little girls.  I watched as they climbed like little monkeys onto the guest bed to embrace their “Tutu” (a Hawaiian word for grandma), so happy for this now rare opportunity to see her.  Although she must have been feeling such exhaustion from the previous evening’s travel, Mom buoyantly greeted them, hugged them, asked them how they were doing.

A year now nearly past, I continue to hang onto what there is to hang onto in regards to my mom.   Her lessons.  Her love.  Her generous way with people.  And I feel so sad for my father-in-law, as he is just beginning this journey; and my wife, who begins her grieving process.

I suppose incumbent upon us in the cycle of life is an obligation, an obligation to carry forward the best of what those who came before us taught and lived.  From these two amazing women, I am sure my wife and I will work to emulate their generosity, a crown jewel of their humanity.  They will be missed.


Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 29 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a former co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting writing teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

17 thoughts on “Slice of Life Challenge Day 29 #sol18”

  1. There seems to be little tear in world where our beloveds should be. I have been an orphan in this world for quite a while. I still hear a story or see something in nature that I wish I could share with my mom. When you said “like a wave of water finding a crack in a levy” I could feel that, so perfectly encapsulates that feeling. I’m sure your feelings are heightened also following your visit with your dad recently.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I think you’re right. Heightened feelings. I’ve heard that one never quite moves completely past losing a mother, that what you describe about wanting to share something never completely subsides. Thank you for your comment and enduring comment support 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Lanny. This was so beautiful. That last paragraph is an idea to treasure and hold onto. Your mom did such a fantastic job because look at who you are and what you do and how you live your life. I can tell she was very special by these words, as was your wife’s grandmother. I know you will both carry forth the best of these amazing ladies. My condolences to your family and hugs and love.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Words don’t come, overwhelmed with emotion. Thank you for sharing and reminding us to emulate those who came before us, have left us, and touched our hearts. Thinking of you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lanny, you are a beautiful, beautiful writer. The images that are woven into this post are powerful and emotional. You balance anecdotes, memories, statements, and reflections masterfully. And yes, our loved ones have powerful legacies when those who love them feel compelled to carry on the good they brought into the world. April will be hard, and you will probably come across several cracks in the levy as the first year ends. It’s okay to be sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a beautiful tribute to your mom and to your wife’s grandmother. Grief is an emotion that enriches us because it reminds us of what it means to love and to be human. You say it so much better than I just did. I am sorry for your losses.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Loss is a shared experience, even as we grieve in our own unique ways. You’ve expressed how we move forward while carrying the best qualities of our departed loved ones with us, giving me pause to think and remember this morning. My condolences to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lanny, although your first reflections with your wife were hushed, the love comes through your slice full voiced. It is because of all they have done for us and been to us that we are able “to carry forward the best of what those who came before us taught and lived.” All my best to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

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