October 17th . . .

17 Oct

Thirty one years ago today, we lost my grandmother. She was brutally raped and murdered on October 17, 1979. I will never forget the phone call, watching my mother slump to the floor over hearing the news. Our lives forever changed that day.

Some events burn so deep into your consciousness, so hurdle your reality that virtually all things as you once knew them simply stop and are never again the same.  The memory of that day will never leave me. The knowledge of that kind of evil never leaves you. And, it forever shapes the way in which you think, plan, fear, grieve, or even just do.

But, today instead of thinking of how my grandmother lost her life, I choose to think of the beauty that was my grandmother. She was a beautiful human being. She was a school teacher, a mother, a sister, a friend, a grandmother, an incredible seamstress (she designed and sewed clothes for us). She was so many things. She was wise. She was kind. She did things for others without drawing attention to her generosity and kindness. She was humble. I remember after her death seeing checks that she wrote every month to different charities. She was an amazing woman.

She is always missed.

3 Responses to “October 17th . . .”

  1. Sandy October 17, 2010 at 8:20 PM #

    I wish I could have met your grandmother. *hug*


  2. shelly o. haas October 17, 2010 at 8:37 PM #

    Yes, Grandma was an amazing example of humility and grace. Quietly supportive and deeply caring. She loved to travel and then to share stories of her interactions with people who touched her heart. She was very independent. I will always remember her effervescent laughter that was a seamless part of her communication. Its presence lightened everything for me. The events of her death were senseless and shocking. As a senior in high school that year; an internal silence clouded all my interactions with people. Creating was all I could do to find peace… and then much later, to attempt to reconnect with others. The fact that she was a teacher and would want all of us to make the most of ourselves is what I clung to. I miss her too.

    • cancerfree2b May 11, 2012 at 8:17 PM #

      Oh my goodness Shelly,

      I am only now just seeing your comment on this post from last year about Grandma. I am so sorry I did not see it before! What beautiful (and such true) words about such an amazing woman. I am sorry I did not see your comment earlier and reply earlier.

      Thank you for sharing what you have shared. I was a freshman in high school when we lost her. For me, music was what gave me some peace. I remember the isolation too, being disconnected from people. And I also remember something Grandma said a few months before.

      She said to my Mom (after I was the victim of a shooting – I don’t know if you remember – but I was shot when I was 14 while riding my bike to a friends house) “that she should use her art to deal with the violence” and that “she needed to rescue some good from the evil”.

      I will never forget those words. What an amazing human being.

      I wish I had seen your comment earlier.

      All the best to you.

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