Blogging for Betty: The Grand Finale

Jun 24, 2010 by

WARNING: This may be a tearjerker.

First, I want to start by saying thank you to all of you who became Facebook friends w/ this blog, “liked” this blog and commented on this blog for the past month+ of Growing on Goofy’s 1st charitable endeavor: Blogging for Betty.  It means the world to me and my family that so many people care.

I struggled for most of this event, trying to figure out how to best sum it up.  How do you sum up the life and influence of one of the central figures in your life?  Well, my conclusion is…you don’t! 

Anyone who has lost a grandparent, especially a same-sex grandparent who was a central figure in your life, knows how difficult it is.  You feel as though part, if not all, of your childhood dies with them.  And even though it’s usually inevitable that your grandparents pass away before you, it still sucks.  I hesitate to say that it’s worse when the death is unexpected (you can’t say goodbye) or unpreventable (horrible diseases like cancer) than it is when old age simply claims them, but it’s safe to say it’s different. 

Our family experienced both ends of the spectrum.  One grandmother came out of brain surgery awake and talking, only to pass shortly after.  The other, of course, fought for over a year to rid her body of cancer, and ultimately lost that fight. 

I’d like to sum up this Blogging for Betty event by writing about how my life has changed since her passing. 
Yesterday, my sister and I realized that when she gets engaged/married, when either of us have kids, basically any major future life event…there will be no grandma to call.  No grandma to get advice from about crazy bridesmaids, your kids, your marriage, your LIFE.  Kristin and I were fortunate to always have “Grandma 911” when we were younger.  “Grandma 911” is when we kids got frustrated with our parents “not listening to/understanding” us, we could always call Grandma, and she would listen/understand and give advice accordingly (whether we asked for it or liked it, or not.  More often…not. :))  So, to the grandparents of our future children, I’d like to say, STAY HEALTHY.  I want my kids to have a Grandma 911 too. πŸ™‚ 

Little things are different too…not always sad things.  I pay more attention to rainbows and butterflies.  I trust my instincts more often.  I’m closer to my mom and other female relatives now.  I cry easier…but only because I have everything I want…and I appreciate it so much more now that I know what it’s like to have the people and things you love taken away.

Like I said, you can’t sum up the life of someone like Grandma Betty.  You can’t close the door on her death as if it’s just another chapter.  But what you can do is remember that her spirit, and the spirits of all the grandmas that have gone before her, remain alive, even if only in our hearts. 

I’m counting all site hits, friend requests and comments through the end of today, what would have been Grandma’s 72nd birthday.  I will try to post the end result, which will be donated to the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure, by the beginning of next week.  Thank you all again, for everything.

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  1. Melissa Miller Hensley

    Lauren – what a great post! thank you for doing this as my grandmother died of breast cancer when I was in 5th grade. She was my "Grandma 911" too!!! Your post helped me to remember all the wonderful memories I have of her…thank you!!!!

    I truly enjoy reading your blog, you are hilarious and a great writer! keep it up!


  2. Lauren

    Thank you so much Melissa! That means a lot! I'm glad this blog helps you remember your grandma. I plan to keep this up as long as everyone will keep reading it. πŸ™‚

  3. Kristin

    Awesome, awesome blog! I just bawled my eyes out reading it.. but still awesome! πŸ™‚ And you know, it's funny to think about how as kids we never had a name for all the dramatic phone calls we placed to grams… and when we got older we finally gave it the "Grandma 911" name. hehe.

  4. Lauren

    Glad you liked it! It is funny to think about Grandma 911 not having a name until we were older…but that's probably because we didn't think the phone calls were dramatic until we were older, HAHA! πŸ™‚

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