My grandma passed away yesterday. She was 93 and had been failing for a few months, so it wasn't totally unexpected, but as with any departure, I'm overwhelmed by the sadness that comes from having thought that I had more time with her.
A few months ago I was sitting with a friend at a hotel bar in the city. There was a group of people behind us, and one of the men in the party was singing. He was probably in his late 70s, and his voice was lovely, but even more interesting was his repertoire. Many of the songs he was singing were songs my grandmother had sung to me when I was a little girl and was visiting her and my grandfather in New Jersey for two weeks every summer; "Solomon Levi," "Lemon Tree," "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes." After a while, he came over and started talking to my friend about music, and we, fueled by whiskey and the charge of a unique shared experience, sang along with him for a few bars. It was fun. Later, I remember thinking how lucky I was to be able to pull those songs out of the dusty files in my brain. Thanks to Grandma.
I'm glad Calder got a chance to meet her.
I'm without grandparents now. It feels strange.