Now my grandmother, Leah Haller, has passed away too. My Dad went to visit her last week, and I’ve been wearing the opal ring she gave me for graduation ever since.
They always lived in Michigan, and I grew up in Florida, which means we saw them periodically. But I remember they would visit in March every year and get a condo on the beach. Rachel and I would toss cereal off the balcony and watch the seagulls circle to catch them in mid-air. We would buy kites to fly on the beach. We would drop our dolls from their balcony to see how fast they’d fall.
I visited them in Detroit several years ago, and I remember talking about politics and history from their nearly socialist perspective. They had a framed photo of FDR on their wall. They believed in what I believed in. They wanted the world to be a peaceful place.
Grandma was in a book club for a long time and would send me boxes of books after she read them (she would send Grandpa to the post office and he would always call to let me know it was on the way). I loved that. I have kept many of them even though I purged my novel collection.
We didn’t see them as much as my mom’s side of the family, but they were there for important things: my Bat Mitzvah, my wedding. Grandma was going to come visit in May for my birthday, meeting Abraham for the first time. But a few days before she went to the hospital with terrible pain in her abdomen. Soon after they told her why: colon cancer.
I will miss her voice, her thoughts, her love.