Monday, November 16, 2009

Rest in Peace, Dear Bannie

It was just this past August that I blogged about my grandmother (Bannie's) 100th birthday. What a celebration it was. Then as quickly a flame burns out, Bannie passed away this past Friday. I never anticipated that day, given the decades I've had her in my life. So today as I attend her memorial service, I thought I'd share some memories of this most special woman with you.

So many friends have expressed such beautiful condolences that I am so grateful for. There is one in particular that I’d like to share that really resonated with me. My friend said, “some people’s light shines a little brighter…their spirits are just a little stronger…they have the “it” factor.”

That was it. That was my grandmother. She was just a bit different than us. Not because she was my grandmother, or Bannie, as my cousins and I called her. It’s because she was different. Special. Selfless. Caring. Charismatic. Different.

My grandmother lived a full life of 100 years. A Centurion. Born and raised in San Francisco, she saw a century of changes. Imagine, the first radio, telephone, automobile, television, computer. She loved San Francisco and never had a desire to live anywhere else. She welcomed the fog and dreaded the heat. Didn’t like the rain much either. San Francisco was her city. I remember her sharing beautiful memories such as outings to the the San Francisco World’s Fair, and the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. It must have been amazing to watch the world change over 100 years.

Bannie and I at her 100th birthday party

Family was everything to Bannie. As the eldest child of 4, she took care of her siblings at a very young age. When she married my grandfather, she cared for her mother-in-law who lived with them. Then came her children, whom she doted on, and then her grandchildren, her elderly mother, her nieces & nephews. She even helped raise me. The list goes on. She gave and gave and gave. Cared for anyone that crossed her path.

The smallest of things made her happy, like the surprised look when she saw her birthday cake

Bannie had a zest for life and appreciated the smallest of things. My grandmother’s caregiver Miriam, a jewel, gave my grandmother the utmost care that prolonged her life. Just the other day Miriam served Bannie some cherry jello with mandarin oranges. Bannie’s eyes lit up as if she was being served a Filet Mignon. “This is the best. Delish.” The next day it was oatmeal, and the same response, “this is the best, mmm…” Until the end, everything was “the best.”

The day before Bannie passed away my husband Leif told her that he was going to make himself a cup of tea and asked Bannie if she wanted one. She responded with, “I’ll make you a cup of tea. I’ll make you anything.” Selfless, yes. Giving, yes. Loving, the best.

Bannie, the day before she passed away

Bannie, our hearts are hurting as we try to imagine life without you. Although you’re not here with us anymore, your light is still shining brighter; your spirit is even stronger and will live in us forever. I love you. I miss you already.

18 comments:

a. said...

Oh Lynn, I am so sorry for your loss. She was obviously a very special woman and her legacy will live on through you!

Hugs,
Alyssa

A Gift Wrapped Life said...

I remember reading your post about her birthday and it was so filled with love. I am so sorry that she will not be part of your life......but she is, she is. XO

Cathi said...

She sounds like such a wonderful lady and a great example of how we should all live our lives with compassion. Your friend was right, her light is shining in all of you that loved her, and people like us that don't even know her but see her thru your eyes with this beautiful story about her. I'm sorry for your families loss, you are all in my heart today..

vicki archer said...

What a wonderful tribute to your beautiful grandmother Lynn. xv

Jacqueline said...

What a lovely, special and generous woman, Bannie was. I am so sad for you, as I can tell that she was a major part of your life. ...you are going to miss her so much, but, what wonderful memories you and your family have of her and that final photograph of her is so precious. Remember the good times that you have spent with her and, I'm sure that you are so grateful to have had Bannie in your lives. I will be thinking of you, Lynn. XXXX

FrenchBlue said...

Dear Lynn,

Be strong my sweet sweet friend. I wish I could be there today holding your hand. I LOVE YOU.

Dear Bannie,
We know you not far away...
Love will never let you go.
Your heart can fly so high now...but please wrap Lynn & Leif with your wings and hold them tight. You are still so needed dear Bannie.

Forever,
Janet

Paris Atelier said...

Lynn,
It is so hard when a special light like hers goes out. My sincere and heartfelt thoughts go out to you today. I'm so sorry. Losing somebody so special is so hard and so life changing. My heart goes out to you and I hope that that the pain does not overpower the wonderful memories you have of Bannie. It sounds like she was a wonderful person.
Hugs,
Judith~

Anonymous said...

It is the sign of a life well-lived if one can say you cared for anyone who crossed your path. My grandmother was the same, she passed three years ago at the age of 92 and I still miss her - but I feel her spirit with me still.

alfonso said...

Lynn-Darling I am so so so sorry for your loss. I do however believe, that her light will be with you to comfort and guide you always. Love, Alfonso

Simply Mel said...

Dearest Lynn,
I am so sorry to hear of your grandmother's passing, and I know your heart must ache. She was definitely an incredible woman who passed along her greatness and zest of life to those who were lucky enough to be in her presence. It warms my heart just thinking of her always considering everything 'the best' - this is something I wish to do more of. Thank you for sharing this beautiful person with us....
Bises,
Melissa

The Brocantess said...

You are lucky to have had her in your life for so long. She will live on through you and your lovely tribute to her memory.

Di Overton said...

She sounds like a perfect Grandmother. So sorry for your loss Lynn.
hugs
Di
xo

THE PICKLED HUTCH said...

Lynn,
I loved reading this piece. What I see in her photos is how sparkly and alive her eyes are, the windows to the soul. She sounds like an amazing woman.
Lisa

Barb said...

Lynn,
What a heartfelt tribute to a wonderful lady. She enriched your life but you also enriched hers.
You can see it on her face.

My thoughts are with you.

hugs,
Barb

My Dog-Eared Pages said...

You can see the love of life in your Bannie's eyes... I'm so sorry for your loss Lynn. She will live on in your heart. oxo Barbara

Living It At Home said...

I am very sad to hear of your great loss.

~jamilyn

Michael Mattison said...

What a beautiful tribute to your grandmother. She must have been a special lady.
Thank your for sharing.
Best,
Michael

irene said...

Beautiful tribute.
I miss her for you. But, I know you will think of her or feel her influence everyday for the rest of your life, as I have been doing with regarding my own nana who passed away many years ago.