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January 3rd, 2009

Jan. 3rd, 2009

Today I look around my house and see the evidence of two scatterbrains living together. There are five different projects half done that I can find. Finishing any one of them would take only an hour. I'm trying not to be too hard because for two weeks we've been focusing on my grandmother's passing so everything else fades. As long as the minimum of kitchen appliances are working, we don't need much else. As long as the internet's working, the buried coffee table and end tables don't matter.

Her memorial service was last Saturday. All of my cousins were in town and Rob flew in from Japan Friday afternoon. Friday night everyone in the house was up until 4am. Half of us were drunk, the other half wondering if maybe 80 for that hotel would have been worth it.

I was still drunk when I woke up the next morning. Everyone's smiling and laughing and discussing how the night unfolded. You almost wouldn't think we were all together for a service. I wanted to be strong. I didn't want to be that crazy lady wailing throughout the event. When I walked into the same church I went to all my life in Omaha, and saw all the people who came on a frigid December morning to pay respect, I realized bottling up and detaching my emotions wouldn't be so easy.

The service itself was really nice. My brother and two older cousins all gave speeches. The other two had been up all night working on theirs. Rob got up there with no paper at all, and winged a five minute speech. It was actually very touching because normally you can't shake him up at all. He's one of those guys who can let everything roll off his shoulders and still look good. Watching him truly struggle to say anything was one of the more touching parts.

My favorite reverend, Rv. Reynolds,  gave a small sermon. He's exactly the sort of guy who has those crazy late night religious shows on public access. In fact, he was that guy for a long time. When you imagine that crazy looking black guy who starts singing instead of talking, getting the entire choir and audience riled up, that's what Rv. Reynolds does. And I had no idea where he was going until he got to the end. The point of the story was that she lived her life knowing she'd be having dinner with Jesus when she died. Boiling it to one sentence makes it sound almost silly but it was during his talk that I realized how true it was.

For a long time, I've been discouraged with how often the people claiming to be the most religious, especially those who go for the Jesus thing, they don't do a damn thing the bible says. And when I think of anyone I know having lived their life anything like the bible requests, my gram stands alone.

She was forever seeing the good in things and the good in people. She was generous even when she had nothing. I can't remember a day where she wasn't doing something for someone else, be it grocery shopping or cutting coupons or running errands. She didn't live like she had nothing, even though she was living on next to nothing. Nothing brought her sprits down. She was always in a good mood, even when pricking her finger and injecting herself with insulin. She always smiled, always thankful to be alive.

These are things about her I don't want to forget. Things I want to have in my life. There's work to be done.