Thursday brought a text from Mom asking if I was available for dinner on Friday night. The invitation was extended on behalf of herself and my aunt. Unfortunately, not everyone could make it that night, so it was switched to a breakfast this morning. And what a morning it was!
There we sat, Mom, Aunt Debbie, my girl cousins, and most of the sisters, chatting, talking, laughing, and crying over breakfast. Some of us bleary-eyed from having to get up early and needing coffee, some of us more talkative than normal, all of us missing Grandma Nancy greatly this Christmas season. Her absence was acutely felt.
After the meal was eaten, Mom and Aunt Debbie handed each of us a small package, wrapped in leftover Christmas paper from Grandma’s house. “This is Grandma’s last Christmas present to you all,” they said. “Go ahead and open it, then we’ll explain.”
Inside the wrapping paper, in the white box, nestled in the black jewelry case was a gorgeous white-gold cross, with a single diamond in the center. As we looked from the necklace to our mom and aunt, they explained.
Years ago, Grammie (Grandma Nancy’s mom) had the idea to break up a diamond bracelet and give each of her granddaughters and great-granddaughters a cross necklace. She even went so far as to design the cross herself. But time went on and Grammie eventually passed before she could make it a reality. Grandma wanted to carry out her mother’s wishes too, but never had the means to do so.
Fast forward to this summer and the diagnosis of Grandma’s lung cancer. One of the last requests she asked of Mom and Aunt Debbie was to make sure this happened.
Today was the culmination of an idea 15+ years in the making.
I can’t begin to tell you how emotional this morning was for all of us. To have something that meant such a big deal to Grandma, to know that this was something Grammie had envisioned for us. I know any of us would gladly give the necklace back if it mean having Grandma here with us, but this is such a sweet, precious reminder of these beautiful women and the influences they had on our life. And to share the necklace with all of the women in this family means more than I can say.
I’m not sure there will be another gift that can top this. It is the perfect gift, and so fitting that it would come from Grandma, no matter how indirectly. As my Aunt Debbie said, “Please don’t be sad about this. I have no doubt Grandma is looking down and smiling, she’d want you to know how much she loved you.” And I know my aunt is right. Sigh. She is so very missed!