Monday Morning

I tried to update my blog last night but couldn’t. I just sat at the computer and stared at the ceiling waiting for some little bit of inspiration to carry the blog but nothing came and I eventually just clicked off the internet and went to watch four hours of t.v.

Grandmother (seated), October 2007
Grandmother (seated), with my mom, Marybeth, to the right. Fresno Fig Garden Books, October 2007

My grandmother died yesterday afternoon around 4:30. My uncle had just been with her and he’d told Grandma that yesterday was her 75th wedding anniversary and that Grandpa was waiting for her. He told her to go to him and he left the hospital. She died within an hour.

I knew she was dying. They thought she wasn’t going to make it through Thursday night but she did–cause that’s my grandma–and all weekend I checked my phone, waiting to see if I’d gotten the call yet that she’d gone. And then finally it came, but it was a voice mail from my mom as I was working downstairs and didn’t hear my cell phone ring upstairs.

It’s good I was alone yesterday. My boys were with their dad and I just felt very quiet, and sad, but quiet. I thought of all the things that would change, realized that Grandma’s house will be sold and all her things distributed and when I go to Fresno now, I won’t have anywhere to go. I’ve always gone to Grandma’s. Since 1965 Grandma’s house has been my second home. It’s not a fancy house but it has books and books and comfortable old couches and tons of family photos in frames. There are the antique rifles that were my grandfather’s, and her piano and organ in the living room. I will miss her Venetian chandalier with its blue and clear glass and her walls in the kitchen covered in all the knick knacks my brothers, sister and I made for her growing up in scouts and our church youth group.

I will miss her chicken cookie jar.

Her red threadbare Persian carpets in the family room.

The stained glass windows hung inside the family room windows.

The pile of newspapers on top of the tv next to the dictionary stand with its enormous dictionary.

I will miss the way she loves all things Purdue.

I will miss her so much but I am grateful to have had her in my life this many years. She believed in me. She believed I could succeed as a writer. She helped me secure my first agent. When I was twenty-eight years old, she proofread my USF graduate project, a manuscript nearly 900 pages long, when my old Mac’s spellcheck died and I was scrambling to get it finished. She very neatly corrected my typos, using small sticky notes in the margins to give the proper spelling. Pensi, she wrote on one yellow sticky note, after lightly underlining the word in the manuscript, should be spelled p-e-n-i-s.

With my wonderful grandmotherAh, Grandma. Thank you. So that’s how it’s spelled.

And oh Grandma, I’m really going to miss you. My feisty brainy hard working, hard charging grandmother. When I finish growing up, I want to be just like you.


  1. Oh, Jane. I am so sorry. I know how important your grandmother was to you. You go and win that RITA for your grandmother now. Much love… –Emily

  2. I’m crying for you now… because it helps when others share your grief and your happiness. I know that what you are feeling is a mixture of both. For the pain of knowing she is gone and for the joy of knowing she is in heaven with her husband… a place where you will embrace her once again. Love you and my prayers are with you today.

  3. Jane,

    I am so sorry for your loss! Your blog brought me to tears for you and I hope you know you are in my thoughts. Keep those lovely memories close…they will get you through your grief. Take care!

  4. Jane,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I went through so much grief last year (at this same time) when my grandmother passed away. It was difficult, since she had just celebrated her “90th” birthday!
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Lots of hugs, Julie

  5. I’m so sorry, Jane. I also have tears in my eyes reading about your grandma. I hope that your wonderful memories help you through this difficult time.


  6. I’m so sorry Jane. Even when you know it’s coming, it’s still hard. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

  7. Beautiful post and such a wonderful tribute to your grandmother. I am sorry for your loss, she sounds like she was such special lady.

  8. Jane,
    I’m sorry about your grandmother, but thank you for sharing how much she meant to you. I have tears in my eyes and what a blessing to all your readers how she helped you along your path to becoming a successful writer. Loved how she corrected your spelling. What a woman.

  9. It’s one of the most beautiful and difficult things to give someone permission who is dying to enter the next world. Just letting them know that it’s ok, that the rest of us will be alright. She sounds like she was truly an amazing woman, and I would have expected nothing less from the woman who inspired and encouraged you so much.

  10. Jane, she sounds like a very special lady. What wonderful stories you have of her. May your memories of her and your times together continue to bring you joy and comfort. Hugs,


  11. Dear Sweet Jane: So sorry for your loss. But in the same breath so happy that you flew to Fresno to be with her in her last days. I am sure that is a comfort to you. What a wonderful woman as well as influence in your life. I am praying for you and your family.

  12. Oh, Jane, I’m so sorry to hear about your family’s loss. Your grandmother sounds like a beautiful, wonderful lady. I’m so glad you have such great memories of her, though. Those memories will never go away, and you can continue to share them with your own children to keep her alive in all of you. Just remember, she’ll always be with you. You now have an extra special angel watching over you and holding your hand when you need it the most. Big, big hugs to you, Jane.

  13. Hugs, Jane. I’m so sorry for your loss. What you wrote about your grandmother was simply beautiful though. This is why I buy your books. You are wonderful. Many, many hugs.

  14. Love to you, Jane, at this difficult time.What wonderful memories you have of such an amazing woman!

    Hugs and Prayers,

  15. oh, I’m so sorry.

    I’m glad you have so many wonderful memories of your time with her, and that she was able to know your boys and see you published. She sounds like an exceptional woman.

  16. Dear Jane,

    So very sorry to learn about your loss. Thinking of you and your family.

    Kindest regards,
    Danielle C.

  17. Jane,
    I’m just getting back from vacation and reading this note. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family at this time. Your grandmother sounds like an amazing person and I am glad that you got to have her in your life for so long. May she and your grandfather be at peace and with each other now. You have those beautiful memories of her to cherish for always.

  18. Jane,
    Thank you for having shared such heartwarming memories of Elizabeth with us; may you find comfort in them as well. You are your Grandmother’s sweet legacy. Her smile and eyes are much like yours.
    Mary J.

  19. Sorry about your loss, Jane, but she sounded like a wonderful woman who lived a wonderful life. And I loved that she joined your grandfather on their anniversary. Too sweet.

  20. Jane,
    you were so blessed to have such a wonderful Grandmother, as she was to have a Granddaughter who loved her so much. May your memories help ease your sadness.

  21. Jane, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your Grandmother. I loved all the stories you shared about her life and she sounds like one awesome lady.

    I’m sending you my thoughts and prayers..and a very big hug too!

  22. Jane, you have my sympathies in losing your beloved Grandmother. Reading your blog about her, I had tears in my eyes. I lost my Dad 1/5/2006 & then my Mom 3/5/2006. When you said your uncle told your grandma to go to your grandpa, I had to share with you about my Mom & Dad. They had both been very ill, & fought to stay alive to take care of each other. My mother died exactly 2 months to the day after my Dad. They had been married 50 years and 4 months, and the 2 months between their deaths was the longest they had ever been apart, ever. Yes, my Mom had cancer, but she died of a broken heart. I saw her. I was with her. I took care of them the last few years of their lives. It’s true, people CAN die of broken hearts. I witnessed it. Take care & comfort in your memories with Grandma. I wish you could buy her house to keep in the family. You WILL always have Grandma with you. Take care.

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