I made the nearly eight-hour trip back to my hometown today.
My grandma, who had severe rheumatoid arthritis, passed away on Sunday and we're all gathering for her funeral on Thursday. It's a sad time for us, but we're all comforted by knowing that she's not in pain anymore. She was a remarkable woman and set a great example for me to carry through my dysplasia and PAO experience.
My speech for the funeral will go something like this:
"It's strange to me how we can learn so much from someone who said so little.
Grandma set an example for all of us -- not with lectures or advice -- but with her sheer courage and strength.
I know she used to be a strong and tall woman, but those things were taken away from her later in life. Yet Grandma still wanted to manage by herself. Even when she could hardly stand, she insisted on putting one foot in front of the other so she could walk on her own. This was frustrating for us sometimes, because we wanted to make things easier for her. But at the same time, I secretly admired her stubborn independence.
She was so tough. She never complained and I never once heard her ask, "why me?". Her positive attitude helped me put my own problems into perspective. Without saying a word, she taught me about patience, about compassion, about strength.
And not just me. The women in my family are as tough as nails. I'm so proud of that. And I'm so glad Grandma was here to set that example for us."