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21 July 2007 @ 10:10 pm
Death and Joy  
My paternal grandmother died today. I spent the afternoon with a friend of mine from school that I hadn't seen since the semester let out wandering around Midtown, lunch, and then a gorgeous sit in Bryant Park. It was around 5:30 when I returned home. As I walked into my room there was a message in progress from a police officer asking that my father immediately call his mom's house because of a medical emergency. My parents were in NJ at IKEA buying a bookcase, so I gave my dad a call and played the message, and two prior messages, back for him. I won't bore you with the details, but yes, her heart gave out and that was that. 

I had a very strained relationship with her, and we have not seen or spoken to each other for some years, so her death really has not effected me emotionally. I don't have too many fond memories of her to draw on. My aunt was devistated, and my dad, well, he's taking it well, but had a bit of a cry when he got home and I just held him and tried to comfort him as best I could. I don't like to see him upset, and I tried to be there for him when his dad died two years ago. 

My mom went up to my grandmother's apartment (her mom) to tell her the news, and my dad and I joined them when he came home. I have always adored my maternal grandparents, and love them dearly. My dad recounted what it was like for him and in a break in the conversation, my grandma said that grandpa had a present for me. My grandpa died a little over 10 years ago just prior to my elementary school graduation. I was 10 at the time. He adored me, and I loved him as well. She pointed to a little clutch bag on her coffee table and I just smiled a bit and said with a laugh, "Grandpa left me a bag?" She told me to look inside. There was a piece of paper tucked inside, so I read that first. The note read:

(To be given to Lauren on her 21st birthday)

Bought in Panama, February 1946 by Adolph Hendler while he was in the Army during World War 2. 

Adolph saved up a few hundred dollars to buy it. He presented it to his wife as a special wedding gift. She wore it many times and each time he beamed with pride. 

I wish to pass it on to Lauren hoping she will wear it on many happy occasions. 


I was pretty much bawling my eyes out by the second line. Inside the bag was a beautiful silver necklace. When not looped twice around my neck it hangs to my waist and has beautiful interlocking links. I was deeply moved by his desire for me to have it. I turn 21 in two weeks. It was quite a day. I'm still sort of reeling from it.  

Herself_nycherself_nyc on July 22nd, 2007 02:45 am (UTC)
My condolences, first of all.

And then … what a wonderful thing, to give a posthumous gift like that. It sounds lovely. Wear it in good health for many many years.
ClawofCat: ClawSpikeclawofcat on July 22nd, 2007 03:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your kind wishes, NK. The necklace is a bit much to wear on an everyday basis, but I'll keep it in mind for formal occasions. One of my favorite winter coats is actually my grandfather's black Kashmir coat. It's a bit big on me, but I like it because it feels like he's with me. I also might have snatched his zippo from his lighter collection after I first caught sight of Spike, too =)
Velvet Rain Drops: Adrianaadriana_is on July 22nd, 2007 03:48 am (UTC)
I'm sorry for your loss, firstly. Secondly, that is such a beautiful gift, I hope you wear it often.

((hugs you))
ClawofCat: ClawSpikeclawofcat on July 22nd, 2007 03:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the kind words, sweetie. *hugs back*
kellykcmomkellykcmom on July 22nd, 2007 06:56 am (UTC)
May God Bless You and Yours
Hi ~ I am so very sorry for your loss. Although it may not seem possible right now the greif that escapes you may very well come crashing later.
I was not close to *my* paternal grandmother either and when she passed away that was the case. Until I sat in the church and the priest spoke of her and the life and I looked at my family surrounding me did I feel emotional. Their pain touched me. My mama cried and my brothers and sisters that were older and remembered her diferently weeped softly. I felt emotional for them.
How incredible to have such a loving family supporting *you* as well. For your grandmother to give you such an important gift on this day is truely amazing. She must love you so! And I bet you felt your grandfather's loving arms surround you when you read that note!! How incredible that must have been for you. You are truely blessed to be loved so much! :)
Again I'm sorry for your loss I hope I haven't rambled too much!! *blushes* I tend to do that! May God bless you and yours ~ Kelly
ClawofCat: ClawSpikeclawofcat on July 22nd, 2007 03:48 pm (UTC)
Re: May God Bless You and Yours
Thank you for your kind words, Kelly. That was very sweet of you to share your own story with me. I really appreciate it. While I didn't necessarily feel my grandfather with me when I put on the necklace, I do whenever I wear his black kashmir winter coat. It's one of my favorites, though a bit big on me. It looks a bit like a certain bleached blondes duster *wink*
Shapinglightshapinglight on July 22nd, 2007 09:37 am (UTC)
I'm very sorry about your grandmother.

Also, what a lovely thing for your grandfather to do.
ClawofCat: ClawSpikeclawofcat on July 22nd, 2007 03:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Deb. *hugs*
slaymesoftlyslaymesoftly on July 22nd, 2007 03:11 pm (UTC)
Wow - what an emotional roller coaster of a weekend! Sorry about your grandmother (if for no other reason, than it made your dad unhappy) and so amazed and pleased at the present from your grandfather. He sounds like a wonderful man - to have thought of your birthday so far in the future.
ClawofCat: ClawSpikeclawofcat on July 22nd, 2007 03:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the condolences, Patti. I was also amazed that he thought so far in the future. According to my mom, when she was still a young woman he would tell her that he had dreams about her as a little girl, except she was blonde. I look quite a bit like my mom, and when I was born she said to him, "I think you were waiting for her all along, dad." Strange, isn't it?
slaymesoftlyslaymesoftly on July 22nd, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC)
It is a little strange (in an almost shivery way. lol) What a shame that he didn't live to see the unique young woman that you grew into.
Cordykitten: seductivembrace  cordykitten JM ^_^cordykitten on July 22nd, 2007 07:42 pm (UTC)

I'm sorry for your loss; even if it is only because your dad's mother died. *hugs*
Awe to the gift your grandpa had for you, even after all these years after he died. And the note *sniff*. So thoughtful
ClawofCat: ClawSpikeclawofcat on July 23rd, 2007 03:36 am (UTC)
Thank you for the kind words, hun. *hugs*
kcarolj65: Friendskcarolj65 on July 22nd, 2007 09:58 pm (UTC)
It was quite a day. I'm still sort of reeling from it.

It certainly was, and small wonder that you're reeling.

Sorry to hear about your grandmother, even if your relationship w/her wasn't the best. I'm sure your father appreciates your love and support.

What a lovely gift from your grandfather. He obviously loved you very much.

Non sequitur alert: You're not even 21 yet? Honestly, your skilful, sophisticated writing style persuaded me to believe you're a good bit older than that.
ClawofCat: areyou12clawofcat on July 23rd, 2007 03:49 am (UTC)
Thank you for the kind words, Kristen. *hugs* I'm pleased to hear that my writing comes off as mature and sophisticated. I try. As for my age, heh, gotcha? I have noticed that I generally seem to be one of the younger ones in these parts though. A bit surprising, but not something I mind. I've always gotten along with an older (older meaning just older than me) crowd anyway. So, when Jarod sometimes playfully refers to me as "kid sis," he's not too far off!
Sevvysevvy_o on July 23rd, 2007 02:37 am (UTC)
*hugs* I'm sorry about your grandfather.
ClawofCat: sister gazeclawofcat on July 23rd, 2007 03:51 am (UTC)
Thanks, honey. *hugs back* It's all good though. I'm doing fine.
Sevensevendeadlyfun on July 23rd, 2007 03:48 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry to hear about your grandmother. There really are no words that can ease pain or heal the hurt. So, the only thing I can offer you is my condolences and a hope that eventually the hurt will ease.
ClawofCat: ClawSpikeclawofcat on July 23rd, 2007 04:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you, sweetie. That means a lot. *hugs*
kitmarlowescot2kitmarlowescot2 on July 26th, 2007 06:12 am (UTC)
So sorry about your grandmother, and for your dad. I was very close to my paternal grandmother, but not my grandfather. Hope everything works out. Things and gifts like that can do that to a person.
ClawofCatclawofcat on July 26th, 2007 01:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the condolences, sweetie. I was at her funeral yesterday morning, and I can't tell you how surreal it was to see my last name on a headstone. Definately made me confront my own mortality for a moment.

And, hello there! I don't believe we've ever "met" before. Out of curiosity, how did you find your way here? I don't think you're own my flist.

BTW, gotta love a bit of Lady Death. Sweet icon.
kitmarlowescot2kitmarlowescot2 on July 27th, 2007 06:32 am (UTC)
Oops sorry, I came here by the way of your fanfic, and by herself's rec. NO I don't think I did put you on my own flist either. Nice to finally meet you. It can be scary to see your own last name on a tombstone. I think I have only been reading your blog for hte past month or so since you started All Wrong.
ClawofCat: buffydawnclawofcat on July 27th, 2007 01:28 pm (UTC)
Well, welcome to my LJ. I hope to keep you all entertained!

Ah, All Wrong. I love that story, but there's been so little time to write fic with RL committments. I've got two one-shots to do, and then I'm going to try to get the rest of All Wrong done by September. Hee, I'm excited.