First off I just want to say…F you February. You have been so challenging and unyielding and quite frankly, I could’t be looking more forward to Spring or at the very least March. Now, having said that to my sweet mother, she reminded me that February also brought my sister birthday, a fun trip to NYC with my bester and bestie and a year without drinking. I do so love perspective, so thanks so much mom! But I’m not here today to be grateful…I’m here to bitch and moan and cry and comfort myself with food and tell you everything. As you know I’ve been sick with the never ending story of pneumonia…that has caused me to miss lots of work and go on a round of steroids that has made me the Chris Farley in the Gap Girls sketch on SNL…”LAY OFF ME, I’M STARVING!” Then, on Wednesday, to quote my cousin Kristina….I got the call that I’ve been dreading my entire life. Sweet Grandma Apple passed….completely unexpectedly. She was the picture of health…other than severe auth-a-ritus as she called it. But Wednesday was her day to meet my Grandpa and so many other loved ones I know were waiting for her. Disbelief was my first go to. She was the baddest bitch around and I was convinced that she would never die. Then I was so angry. That she could pass without any of us getting a chance to say goodbye. I knew that was a selfish path, but it was consuming me. That sneaky little snake up and left without a word. Then it occurred to me that that is exactly what that little angel would have wanted. She would have absolutely hated for people to visit her in the hospital, she never wanted people to make a fuss over her and the last thing on earth she would have wanted was for people to worry about her. That single thought brought me so much comfort, I can’t even explain it. But that thought didnt come to me until 2:30 am the day that it happened, so I chose lots of different things to comfort myself leading up to that moment of zen. This is how the day went down. I was at work when I got the call. I knew right away when they told me that my sister was on the phone that something was wrong with my Grandma, but I had no idea how quickly it would all transpire. I completely fell apart. I had alread talked to Kelly, so I called the rest of my people, Krisitna, Katie and Jenny. I was a wreck. I knew I had two clients left to go and I knew that everyone outside of the office could hear my squallin’. Let me just say that I am so thankful for all of the wonderful people that are in my life. My work family came to the rescue and helped me with my last clients. My clients let me fall apart and have a very human moment. I left in a puddle, a daze and drove straight to my house as the snow started pouring down. I finally got in touch with my sweet mother, my most important person, and well lets just say that was one of the hardest conversations I’ve ever had. As sad as I felt, I couldn’t imagine losing my mother and I was devastated for her. But as she always is, she was so strong. I packed a bag, called Kristina back so that we could cry some more. Then I headed to Starbucks for a million cake pops and drove straight to my sisters for a sleepover.
Sometimes I really want to process my feelings alone, but this was not that time. My sister is so special to me and I could’t think of anywhere I would rather be than with her and those sweet nuggets! This was 1000 percent the right choice. There is nothing more comforting that being with little ones when you are sad. My sister and I cried and hugged and the boys were so sweet. We all ate cake pops and snuggled. We talked about what it meant to be gone, how it was ok if you hadn’t cried yet…it didn’t mean that you loved her any less, we did a round table about our favorite things about Gigi, we laughed which she would have loved, we took phone calls and cried some more, I neeeeeded chex mix and my sister sweetly obliged! We ate and snuggled and watched the snow and cuddled and watched 3 Ninjas #heylyndsay #tumtum #shingshing When Katie called I totally lost it. Wyatt said, I have never seen you cry before and he hugged me and patted my arm and was so flipping sweet.
Emotional roller coaster is a thing. But I think it was good for the kids to see us talk about everything and to know its ok to cry and be sad and even when things are sad, that it is totally ok to laugh. This woman had a life that was worth celebrating. I am a public processor #imablogger So I took to social media to honor this sweet Apple! And y’all were so sweet to my family!
Tomorrow will be dedicated to her life. We were all exhausted. Those sweet boys asked to sleep with me and so we snuggled it up all night which was a total blessing. It’s hard to be crushingly sad when two wiggly, warm bodies are adorably lying next to you.
I didn’t sleep a wink. I laid in bed all night crying and laughing and yelling at her in my mind. Little known fact, I find it very comforting to talk to all my relatives, even those that have passed. I kept telling her how much I loved her and that I hope she was ok and that it didn’t hurt. I told her that I knew she was so happy to be with Grandpa, Nan Nan, Uncle Bobby, Uncle Frank, Jane, Brian, and all of her family and friends that had passed before. Then I proceeded to tell her how much I hated it. And that is when a total sense of calm came over me and I realized that she had gone the exact way that she would have wanted and that that was truly a gift. Then I started mentally writing tomorrows blog…trying to remember every thing we ever did together…what she taught me…how she’ll never really be gone bc she is all around us. I see her in Wyatt’s face, Chase’s charm, Kristina’s hands and freckles, my mother’s strength in tough times, her kindness and nurturing nature with children, my love of storytelling and history and costume jewelry, my sisters contagious laugh, Uncle Marty’s sense of humor, Uncle David’s loyalty, Aunt Deborah’s generosity and all of our family first spirit. How can you be gone if you’re all around. This really lightened the mood. In the morning after some more snuggling…
I came home and dove straight into purpose! I was asked to gather pictures for a slide show and for the funeral home…I love a purpose! So I spent the rest of the day doing that and posting videos of Grandma. Knowing that I can hear her laugh anytime I want makes things easier. I was wondering if this euphoria would last at the funeral or if I would totally unhinge. One thing I knew for sure was that I was comfort eating life a champ…nothing was off limits…paleo be damned! So all of the sudden, it was here.
Jenny and I were supposed to be doing the half way there event for Fleet Feet Ton of Fun, but they so graciously understood. So instead, Two Meatballs went to a funeral.
She drove me to Wilson, we stopped at McDonald’s to pee and weren’t even tempted #thankkgoodness
I gave her a little tour of the place that I lived for a year in hair school which ended up at Grandma’s house.
We didn’t go in, it didn’t feel right and to be honest this was a lottttt more emotional than I had anticipated! Now it was off to the funeral home.
We had a celebration of life for this amazing woman. There were pictures and slide shows everywhere
….and the most gorgeous flowers you have ever seen (Sammie Cole for life)…
But more that all of that…there were so many familiar and friendly faces. I love a space in which to grieve and celebrate with loved ones. I think it brings everyone together, it makes everything a little less sad and it reconfirms for me that Grandma Apple taught us so well that our family will just become closer in her absence and never grow apart. You taught us well Gigi. The service was beautiful, her preacher clearly loved her. My uncles paster’s wife and their son sang two songs, Amazing Grace (Janet Apple’s favorite) being one and I lost it a little. But I found myself laughing more than I had at any other funeral. She was funny and that is what people remember! I sat in between my nephews and found it so sweet, comforting and heartbreaking watching Wyatt dab his sweet eyes. As always Kristina’s children provided comedic relief with sweet cooing and nosies #nayyyyyyyyy And I don’t know about you but I felt her there with every fiber of my being.
We shared memories and stories and as always had a little time for fun…just like Gigi would have wanted.
Then it was off to her church for a lunch and reception!
And don’t worry you guys….I ate all of my feelings here too! What can I say, I like a challenge…March I’m coming for you plus ten pounds of comfort!
The kids and I explored the church…I loved the distraction! But we also had some serious talks about how Grandma will always be with us and we can talk to her at anytime. On this journey I found my name on a prayer board…that sweet angel had asked them to pray for me since I still had pneumonia last week. Ugh…tears!!!!
It was so great to see everyone! Is that weird to say!? I know that it is under sad circumstances but I think it is so beautiful to be able to come together as family and friends and cherish the time we had with the coolest lady around. What is more comforting then going from soul crushing crying to hysterical laughter in the same beat!? #snakes I have really found my place in this family. I will carry on the archiver tradition. I will find the picture and videos and I will write our story. I will capture these moments so that even if someone has to leave us, we will always have these memories and I will continue to send all my love and hugs and snuggles to everyone who wants or needs it…and even those who don’t #sometimesitsaboutme Thank you from the bottom of my heart to every person who has reached out and showed up in the terrible time. You have no idea the comfort your words have brought my sweet, grieving family. We are so lucky to have you all in our lives. And we are so lucky to have each other. And even though she would have hated the fuss, I think she loved her send off. #noyouhangup
I’ve cried throughout this entire post, but that is how it works, you cry until the tears are gone…and then you cry some more. But I know that the smiles and laughter will always be waiting right behind it…I can hear her laughing now! Bye bye for now Gigi.
Oh sara! This was just beautiful. I’m crying my way through it too. What a perfect description of all of our emotions. We are so lucky to have you to carry on her love of story telling and to so perfectly put into words how amazing she was. She really is everywhere. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s post.
She was the best!!!!!!
I can’t stop crying and laughing at the same time. Thank you Sara for always knowing just what to say. You are so loved, sweetheart. We are so blessed to have you in our lives and still blessed to have had Mother. She’ll never leave us.