My great-grandmother was 92 when she died. I had the privilege of being very close with her. At the age of eight, she started each of us on piano lessons, which also meant that we took turns sleeping over once a week afterwards. Although Mom-mom had many physical difficulties because of her age, she never, ever complained. She always behaved with dignity, but never seemed old, and she treated everyone she met with the same warmth and kindness, no matter what they looked like. She had a remarkable way of making little things seem like great adventures. Going grocery shopping, we always stopped to look at the cows behind the store. A trip to the playground became the famous "Two Bump Park." Who else could make going over a speed bump exciting?
There were always little things. She knew I liked carrots and cucumbers. She would buy a bag of baby carrots when I came over - they were mine. If other guests were expected, she bought a second bag.
Most people lose friends as they get older. They pass away or lose touch. At 92, Mom-mom had more friends than anyone I knew, and was a home town hero for the 76ers (her son played basketball before dying at a young age and she remained a huge basketball fan. She fell and broke her nose during the playoffs against the Lakers and insisted at the hospital that they put the game on).
In the last year of her life, Mom-mom developed liver cancer. Two days before she died, we came to visit her. My mom knocked on her bedroom door and asked if it was ok for us to say hi. "Of course! Come in, we'll have a party." That was the last time I saw her before she died.
This time of year, I see the Christmas decorations and remember how she used to drive me around to see the lights. We had a favorite house. I miss her so much.