Rest in Peace, Grandma

My sister left a message late last night. I saw/listened when I woke up this morning.

I didn’t expect it to be good news but man. Grandma Young, my father’s mother passed away yesterday.

The last two times I saw Grandma were at Aunt Norma’s funeral back in March and my dad’s funeral (and funeral home meeting) last October.

Her memory wasn’t what it used to be. I hadn’t seen her in a long while so every time she saw me she had to be reminded of who I am. I forgot sometimes and would give her a hug and kiss on the cheek and she’d have a expression like, “Oh what a friendly stranger.”

Then someone would say, “That’s Gary, grandma.”

And she’d say, “Oh! You fool me every time.”

When I was a kid my big sister and I would stay with our father every other weekend and we’d spend time at Grandma Young’s house.

I used to love that wraparound porch — it made games of Tag and Hide and Seek interesting — and all of the warm energy there.  The big trees with roots buckling the pavement.  From the basement to the attic there’d be some family there. Or family friends. Sometimes she wouldn’t have much room because she’d have so many people over.  Like, living there.   She was a devout giver and a nurturer.

Kids out in front playing Double Dutch, Chinese jump rope, or hopscotch. And the food! The food.

My father’s side of the family has always been very affectionate whereas my mother’s side is more stoic. But all of that love and warmth and affection — grandma was the source of that.

My car is in the shop today so i thought I’d capitalize on the opportunity to spontaneously wander. I’m sitting on the big steps on the side of the Lincoln Memorial right now. It’s a beautiful day. The sun is shining through the the columns and casting a long, framed shadow of me down on to the grass and trees.


It’s great to see all of the people out today. Some from very far away. Kids are running around me right now and making life and fun out of a relatively somber memorial.

Point taken, kids. Keep up the good work.

Being that yesterday was Thanksgiving it reminds to say that I’m thankful for her. And to Mia and Junie for taking such good care of her. And the Young family in general.

I do not look forward to yet another funeral, but I do look forward to seeing the family, despite the circumstances.

Rest in peace, Grandma.

Live in joy, everyone.

Take care of yourselves, people. Live long and prosper.



Add Yours
    • garyarthuryoung

      Thank you, Sara.

      I guess women tend to live longer than men on average. That’s definitely true in my family on the order of decades. There’s something especially ultimate about losing the family matriarch. And the knowledge that my generation are slowly becoming the elders.

      To all the grandmothers…

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